Nicola Craven, Development Manager

You may have noticed that we’ve been busy in the garden behind the Visitor Centre. We were fortunate to receive some funding as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and part of this was allocated to make the garden a peaceful and reflective space for visitors, and provide more flowers and plants for pollinating insects.

The first stage was to decide what we wanted to keep and what we wanted to replace, some of the plants had grown too big for the location and weren’t offering much value aesthetically or for wildlife, the beautiful birch trees have been retained but given a trim to ensure they thrive in a compact space. An old fence has been removed and the large windpipes located to a different area.

An attractive Amelanchier Lamarckii tree has been planted as a focal point on entering the garden. This tree is more commonly known as June Berry or Snowy Mespilus with its snow like flowers in April or May. The honour of planting the tree went to our work experience rangers who had successfully completed their course.

To increase the variety and longevity of the new plants in the garden, we have raised the bed level using a brick edging and back filled this with lots of nutritious mushroom compost mixed into the soil. Hundreds of bulbs have been planted in the beds with a purple and white colour scheme which we hope will make a beautiful display and is also a nod to the colours used for the Queen’s celebrations in the summer. We also have lots of plants on order that will add interest and colour during the summer months and into the autumn. They will also provide essential pollen for the butterflies and bees.

Peterborough’s Poet Laureate Kat Beeton is working with us to write a poem to welcome visitors into the garden. Look out for our bespoke bird boxes designed by our young artist group. We hope these will not only provide homes for birds but also added interest in the garden particularly in the winter months when much of the colour has disappeared. New seating will also be included, with secluded spots and dappled shade to help with those hotter summer days.

Here at Nene Park Trust we would like to say a massive thank you to the National Lottery for the funding of this project but also to our amazing conservation volunteers who helped clear the garden, barrowed a huge amount of compost and planted all the bulbs. Fingers crossed for a stunning display this spring!