The task was to bring new life to the BBOWT Environmental Education Centre at Sutton Courteney, on land leased from Didcot Power Station. BBOWT is the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. What a great name, once heard always remembered!

Charlotte, the BBOWT manager, and I planned an exciting, interesting and as varied as we could think of, series of areas that would grab the attention of visitors, young and old. All had to be accessible, yet safe. We designed raised seed and planting borders, a flower area with a pond and fruit trees, and an area for soft fruit, and a wilderness. 

BBOWT Environmental Educational Garden volunteers at Sutton Courtney
Volunteers at the Wildlife Trust, Sutton Courtney planting a wildlife pond garden
New wildlife education garden design in Oxfordshire for children and adults, wheelchair access using reclaimed bricks and stone. Pond for wildlife.

The plan is to encourage birds, insects, frogs, hedgehogs, newts, all and everything! and for the area to be teeming with animal and plant life as much as we can have! Hopefully visitors will go away with new enthusiasm and ideas to support nature and wildlife whenever and wherever they may be.

The Trust raised money from donors, we were very fortunate and after about a year were able to begin work. We were lucky to have a local contractor and much donated, recycled and on site material. Many people gave generously, all this was a huge help. The photographs, courtesy of The Oxford Mail, show a little of what was done, and the many smiling faces amongst the volunteers who planted up the scheme show how much they were enjoying the new gardens.

There is always maintenance and, with every season, additions and changes, pruning, weeding and cutting back. All will be done to encourage as many people and as much wildlife to visit and enjoy the centre and it’s new garden!