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Bees, birds and butterflies: care home designs eco-garden to bring wildlife back

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A care home in Oxfordshire has designed and built an eco-garden to encourage more wildlife to the home, following requests from nature loving residents.

Churchfields Care Home’s meadow and prairie area features paths that lead to birdboxes, surrounded by hedgehog homes and a variety of plants and flowers, all carefully positioned to make it accessible to residents. Through the development of the new garden area, the Cassington-based home hopes to not only attract more wildlife but also encourage residents to spend more time in the garden.

The home selected over 1,500 types of plants and flowers that will attract bees, butterflies and certain birds, as well as hedgehogs, which will enable residents to observe the wildlife making their way back into the garden.

Jane Roberts, Churchfields Care Home owner, commented: “This is a project that has taken considerable thought and planning. We are hoping that bringing wildlife back into the garden will give residents a purpose when enjoying time outside. Some of our residents are keen gardeners and wildlife lovers, and we listened to their requests when thinking about the design of the garden.

“Our new Gardener is passionate about involving residents in all aspects of the garden. To see everyone’s enthusiasm and enjoyment is wonderful.”

Michael and Amoy, residents at Churchfields, are already pleased with the results of the blossoming garden. Amoy likes to be taken to the garden every day and watch the development of the flowers, whilst Michael often takes his bird watching book to the courtyard, where he is keen to spot the first birds on his very own bird feeders.

Michael commented: “I think that the first birds to visit will be wagtails, but I’m not sure. I’m looking forward to watching them and seeing who comes first.”

Amoy added: “It’s just beautiful. It’s lovely to see the flowers growing from the home, but it’s not until you come and sit amongst it that you really get a true feeling of what the garden is all about. It’s very special.”

The home is planning a celebratory event on Friday 6th September, where local MP, Robert Courts, and chairman of the Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, Barbara Mason, will be visiting the garden and chatting to residents about its benefits. Other improvements planned for the garden will be an allotment area and summer house.

For more information on Churchfields Care Home, or to take a look around the home, please call 01865 88140 or visit http://churchfieldscarehome.co.uk/.Michael in the Garden LR

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