Woodhead Road Wildlife Garden

The raised planter is surprisingly large (100 square metres), and was left as bare earth two winters ago, when shrubs were removed. The planter will have a tree and nectar rich mostly native perennials, for pollinator and biodiversity value. Local residents are hugely supportive, and we’re hopeful it may spark wider interest in improving some of the other neglected green/brown spaces nearby.

In May 2024 we began work on the planter. NESST volunteers were joined by local residents to dig and litter pick. The soil was easy to dig, as it is probably bought in topsoil. We were treated to a delicious drink made with saffron and honey from a nearby resident.

After clearing, the planter was covered with cardboard, to suppress unwanted plants and help retain moisture. 100 square metres is a lot of cardboard to find but fortunately a nearby bike shop had plenty. The cardboard layer was wetted thoroughly. The following day we had a large delivery of mulch which was spread evenly over the planter. This holds the cardboard down and also helps retain moisture.

Planting day around a week after mulching, a hot day to plant over 300 plants! After moving mulch away from the area where the plant was to go, holes were carefully made in the cardboard, the plant put in and then the mulch replaced. The plants will be watered by residents and the group when needed.

One of the work days on the planter coincided with a match at Bramall Lane, and hundreds of home supporters were walking down Woodhead Road to the football ground. Some stopped to ask us what was happening and were friendly and supportive. Their support is key to the success of the planter, as well as the support of residents.