Wildlife garden launches with support from CLA Charitable Trust

Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust making educational garden more accessible for all
BBOWT wildlife garden launch.jpg
BBOWT's wildlife garden launch, with CLACT Chairman Bridget Biddell (fifth from left)

A wildlife garden supported by the CLA Charitable Trust (CLACT) is getting ready for the summer.

Last year the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust was awarded £2,500 to help revamp an educational garden to be inclusive for all.

The trust is funded almost entirely by subscriptions and donations from members of the CLA, and provides grants to charities and community organisations who share its vision to help connect young people who are disabled or disadvantaged with the countryside and nature.

The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) was among the groups to successfully apply for funding. Its Environmental Education Centre at Sutton Courtenay Nature Reserve, between Didcot and Abingdon in Oxfordshire, is a busy and thriving centre, providing an opportunity for adults and children to learn about nature and wildlife.

However, the wildlife garden surrounding the centre was poorly designed, limiting accessibility and reducing opportunities to use it. The trust wants everyone to experience it and has been redrawing the garden, maximising the space to allow for increased educational programmes for schoolchildren and the local community.

Last week Bridget Biddell, Chairman of CLACT, visited the site for its launch. After some hard work over the winter, the accessible raised beds and pond have been constructed and planted, and the garden will be used for various activities with both children and adults this year.

Bridget said: “The Environmental Education Centre at Sutton Courtenay is a huge asset and we are delighted to be able help support the improvements to the wildlife garden.

“The garden provides an important habitat for wildlife, and improving accessibility there means more adults and children will be able to connect or reconnect with nature, and learn about the natural environment through a series of educational workshops and programmes.”

Since its foundation in 1980, the trust has given £2m in grants to a wide variety of organisations and projects. If you would like to know more about applying for funding, or to donate, visit https://www.cla.org.uk/about-cla/charitable-trust/

For more information about the CLA and its work, visit www.cla.org.uk/your-area/south-east/regional-news and follow @CLASouthEast on Twitter.