Station Master’s Community Wildlife Garden
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Vision of the Garden
The Station Masters’ Community Wildlife Garden is a community space, run by the community, for the community. That’s a lot of community, which is definitely our vision.
Our aim is to protect and enhance local wildlife, promote integrated horticulture and food growing, and to reinvigorate historic and landscape values. We share a deep concern for the promotion of biodiversity and landscape value within urban areas, recognising that places, like people, need spaces to breathe.
We welcome all members of the local community who would like to get involved: to help in the garden – roll up your sleeves and get involved; or just enjoy being within it; sitting and contemplating, exploring, appreciating nature.
The garden was designed to be inclusive for wheel-chair users and those less able-bodied. We have wheel-chair access into the main growing area and raised beds.
Who uses the garden?
The garden is visited by local residents and visitors from far and wide. All enjoy the surprising discovery of its creative and peaceful space in the midst of the busy town of Whitley Bay and alongside Tyne and Wear’s metro system. The regular hum of metro trains arriving and leaving is a background to the tranquillity of the garden.
The garden is regularly used by community groups for activities and horticulture. Our most important visitors are, of course, the array of wildlife including: bees, slow worms, hedgehogs, slaters, birds and the occasional fox.
We welcome all children in our garden including small children under 12 who are accompanied by adults. There are special children’s beds to encourage children to enjoy the exciting process of planting, growing and of course eating fresh crops. We invite all children, big and small, to come to see Monty the Moth, (all year round) visit the slow worms and come and see how the frogs are getting on. (seasonal)
What happens in the garden?
The Station Masters’ Community Wildlife Garden is host to a wide variety of events promoting the enjoyment We offer educational workshops such as tree pruning and grafting, bread baking. We organise volunteering days and gardening bees. The garden is used for Nature Clubs and cultural events such as the Whitley Bay Film festival. .Easter egg hunts and pumpkin competitions are annual events.Since June 2013 we have held many community events in the garden including food surplus sharing, barbecues, food demonstrations, planting demonstrations, composting parties and more
History of the Garden
Since May 2010, tClarence and Waterford Crescent Residents Associationcommittee, together with the local community situated around Whitley Bay Metro Station, have worked to develop a green sanctuary in the heart of the popular seaside resort of Whitley Bay for the community of Whitley Bay and their welcome visitors.
The Station Masters’ Community Wildlife Garden began its formation in May 2010 when a group of local residents came together with local police and counsellors to discuss the vision of turning a dilapidated space, reputed to attract degenerate crime, (though home to plantlife, slow worms, birds and bees and butterflies) into a community garden and natural habitat promoting biodiversity for all.
With dedication, incredibly hard work, commitment, and a multi-talented creative team, who benefited from much help from many knowledgeable people, the garden began to take shape. Applications for planning were eventually successful and a sincere funding bid to Community Spaces successfully procured the funds to enable environmental architects Alex Turner Environmental Consultants to design and create the first stages of the garden.
Early planning meant considering: protected species (slow-worms), unwanted virile knotweed, contaminated land, many tree preservation orders and a host of local hazards.
In June 2012 we had permission to go ahead and worked quickly from there. The garden opened to the public on June 23rd 2013 with much funfair and celebration.
Who is responsible for decisions about the garden?
The SMG is a not-for-profit run by a committee formed of local residents. The committee meets monthly and important issues are raised in this forum. Sometimes guests may be invited to join a meeting, if they want to come and talk to us.
How can you become involved?
The garden is run entirely by volunteers and receives no public support for its management. So we welcome volunteers with or without skills.
Every last Sunday of the month is volunteer day (weather permitting) when a member of the committee will be on hand to direct activities in the garden. Just turn up!
Every Wednesday from 10.30am we also hold a planting day during the growing season. Just pop in to help!
See our Facebook site for notices of events or join the ‘Friends of the garden‘ email list by emailing:
- Become a friend of the garden go on the mailing list and get updates.
- Monthly Green Beans Market
- Look for the notice board outside of the garden
- Find one of us working in the garden and ask
The Clarence and Waterford Residents Association Ltd is a not for profit company limited by guarantee REG No. 07546845