During the early part of last year I was asked to go along to a ‘wild’ secret garden area in Littleport and to give my views re. Disabled accessibility and how best this could be put into place.
I was given the location as the end of Limes Close, across the car park. A place that I had never been to.
When I arrived, I found a good size area, which I never knew even existed. A hidden, rambling, thorny and overgrown piece of land. What struck me was how quiet it was. You felt away from the hustle and bustle of life and could easily see, hear and feel the nature around which was bursting from within. It truly felt to me like a secret garden.
Deborah Curtis Watson and others had the vision. That through campaigning, support from Littleport Parish Council, East Cambridge District Council, Sanctuary housing, Littleport red lions, Littleport Time bank, The Port Youth Club and the community. There was a chance that this once neglected area could be brought back to life again. To be accessible to all.
The garden was named ‘Peacocks Meadow’.
Days were set aside, rota’s drawn. Heavy machinery was brought in to do the initial clearing work.
Volunteers appeared and tirelessly cleared the ground of brambles, freed ditches and levelled areas which needed to be for easy pedestrian access. The local ‘Lions’ had some members come from as far afield as Great Yarmouth. Volunteers supplied tea and cake.
Wild flower seeds were bought, to be germinated over the winter and then sown. All involved were very keen to keep the wildlife which had made it their home and to encourage more. This has now been done, through hedgehog, reptile, frog and toad, wildlife houses and specialised planting etc. Through the tireless work of the garden committee. Peacocks Garden was selected to be one of 50 community growing spaces to be awarded a ‘Grow Wild Seed Pack’. A National outreach scheme scheme run by Royal Botanic gardens, Kew London.
The garden is now a haven for wildlife, a relaxing quiet area for the community to enjoy. People have enjoyed a variety of events which include an Easter egg hunt and bug hunting. More events are being planned.
As with any garden, particularly one of this size. The garden requires constant pruning, cutting back, pathways maintained etc.
Recently another ‘garden tidying’ day was held. The community came out and helped.
Littleport Timebank members were able if they wished to garden in exchange for credits.
Carol and Stuart from Fenland Spirit Services donated a mower to help in the garden. One resident, Ben who came to the garden day, explained that he loves the garden as it is accessible for his mobility scooter and that he likes to spend as much time there as he can.
The garden members regularly post updates on their Facebook page. Find these: Fb/Peacocksmeadow Also the event days and when they need additional help to maintain.
Like any community volunteer project, the more hands, the lighter the work will be. So please do volunteer your services as there is always something to do in the garden. The reward will be a satisfying time, fresh air and great fitness benefits.
Message the group and let them know when you can help. Even if you can do just an hour. It all helps.
A group gardening event is planned for November. So keep an eye out for that.
So the ‘Secret Garden’ may not be very secret anymore. But I for one, am glad it now isn’t!