A city nature park has been praised as "outstanding" in this year's Heart of England in Bloom awards.
And the Friends of Trentmill Nature Park, who have worked in partnership with the city council’s countryside team for the last three years to rejuvenate what was overgrown land, collected an extra award for the best wildflower meadow in the region. Judges praised them for creating “a patchwork of beauty”.
The Friends also work with local residents, Eastwood Nursery, and local organisations and companies including Groundwork and Asda.
A greenhouse made of recycled plastic bottles, the Friends’ close links with a local nursery school, and a native species tree trail were among the many features to catch the judges’ attention.
A nationwide call from the Royal Horticultural Society, to help the ailing bee population, saw the Friends of Trentmill respond by sowing a number of meadows with wildflower seeds. The citation for their special wildflower award said that the group’s meadows, which bloom from Spring until first frost, are “among the best planted”.
It read: “The meadows include common flowers such as poppies, cornflowers and Fairy Toad Flax, along with Dyer’s Rocket. The flowers bend and twist in graceful curves and, together with the dual effect of sunlight and breeze, contribute enormously to the beautiful display of subtle colours.
“This success is a reflection of the community spirit which began three years ago, when many people came together to create the nature park which would become the perfect space for all creatures great and small.”
Val Platt, Chair of the Friends of Trentmill Nature Park, said: “We’re over the moon to have got two Heart of England in Bloom awards! It’s a labour of love for the many local people who put so much work into the nature park. We know it also gives lots of visitors and passers-by a great deal of pleasure.”
City councillor Alastair Watson, ward member for Joiners Square, said: “Many congratulations to everyone involved - they should be rightly proud of their achievements. The nature park is, quite literally, growing proof of the great things that can happen when a community pulls together.”