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University helps Chester National Park City to create space for nature

Green fingered staff and students from the University of Chester have dug deep and teamed up with Chester National Park City to create a wildlife haven in the city centre.

The University’s Grounds and Gardens and Sustainability team has created a whole new space for nature on a plot of land next to the institution’s Sumner House accommodation block following a planting afternoon in partnership with Chester National Park City.

A youth-led group, Chester National Park City is supported by Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Its members want to connect urban communities to wildlife and join the only other two cities with current National Park City status – London and Adelaide.

Becky Henning-Lee, Co-ordinator for Chester National Park City, said:

“We wanted to connect with other young people in the city, and approached the University to see how we could work together. We identified a plot of land that needed improving, and that was publicly visible to showcase the Chester National Park City campaign.”

The University’s Grounds and Gardens team spent time preparing the land ready for the planting session and provided equipment and tools to the team, who soon got stuck in creating the new nature haven.

Justin Moston, Grounds and Gardens Manager, explained:

“We suggested creating a low maintenance, drought resistant, pollinator-friendly wildlife garden filled with lots of colour as well as habitat and food. We’ve included a mixture of perennial plants such as verbena, sedum, geraniums and fox gloves to attract a whole host of pollinators – it should provide a fantastic habitat and menu for bees and butterflies.”

Heather Johnson, Sustainability Engagement Co-ordinator at the University, added

“We hope as the garden flourishes over the coming months it inspires others to get involved with the campaign, and take action to improve our green spaces for wildlife as well as our local communities.”

“We’re keen to have year-round interest and food for pollinators and are planning to host a native bulb planting workshop in autumn ready for next year’s spring.”

Tammy Hunt, Sustainability Manager at the University of Chester, added:

“As a University we’re committed to improving the biodiversity across our estate and were keen to support and work with Chester National Park City to raise awareness of their campaign at a really key location within the city centre.”

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