New haven for mini-beasts at RSPB Old Moor
Staff and volunteers at RSPB Old Moor have created a new ‘mini beast’ garden with wildflowers, compost heaps, fruit trees, bee banks, bug hotels and even a wormery.
Mini-beasts are small animals, such as invertebrates, including beetles, butterflies and bees, which are hugely important for nature and biodiversity.
Abi Gibbons, the Manvers reserve’s learning officer, said while it may be easy to overlook these tiny treasures, they played an important role in our ecosystem, including as food for many larger animals, especially birds.
“The aim of the garden is to teach children how important insects are to us and inspire visitors to create their very own homes for mini-beasts,” she said.
“The children who visit us on school trips are really going to benefit from this garden as they will be able to study and observe different mini-beasts throughout the year.”
The new garden, which is alongside the existing sensory garden, has been created by RSPB staff and a team of dedicated volunteers.
The RSPB received a £2,500 donation from the David Brooke Charity to help create the garden, which was built, planted and painted by volunteers from the RSPB and the local community.
The Mayor of Barnsley, Cllr James Mick Stowe, performed the official opening and, rather cutting a red polyester tape, he insteadcut an organic garland made of plant fibres.
The RSPB said careful consideration had been given to the types of plants used in the garden, and volunteers chose special wildflower seed mixes to attract pollinators to help the garden flourish, as well as bee-friendly and insect-friendly garden plants.
Volunteer gardener Geoff Higgs said: “We felt it was important to offer a wide range of different habitats, so we have created a mix of shady, boggy and drought resistant borders.
“With our planting, we have also built in some resilience against climate change.”
Spike Mayston, visitor experience manager for the RSPB, said: “Massive thanks go to the David Brooke Charity and everyone who made this possible.“When volunteers get stuck into a project like this, it’s amazing what we can achieve.
To volunteer your time to help support school visits at RSPB Old Moor email [email protected]