Samworth Foundation Funding Supports Flower Pod Wildlife Garden

In News by Laura

Written by Beryl Pettitt, Volunteer

Flower Pod Southwell is delighted to have started work on creating a wildlife garden which is fully accessible so that adults with learning disabilities (clients) and visitors to the site can learn about and enjoy wildlife.

Sam Ward, horticultural lead at Flower Pod, said

“We have always seen the potential of the pond area at Flower Pod Southwell, but lacked the expertise and resources to develop it, so we are very grateful that Samworth Foundation’s Transformation & Innovation Programme funded this as part of our Green Citizens Project, and to the 40 volunteers who have helped make this happen.”

The funding enabled Flower Pod to contract EMEC Ecology, a subsidiary of Notts Wildlife Trust, to landscape the space, create a new pond and a bog garden, and build new paths that are accessible for people with limited mobility or wheelchairs.

During the fortnight, teams from National Grid, NHS Supply Chain, Southwell Lions, Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and local volunteers, worked on site alongside client volunteers and Reach staff. Incredibly, the 40 volunteers built a land bridge with rubble and bricks, shovelled 20 tons of clay into the pond to make the puddled lining, cleared some of the existing paths for renovation and barrowed all the stone down to lay the new paths.

The volunteer team was led by long-term volunteer Mike Fryer, and also worked closely with NTU’s Conservation and Ecology department and their Landscapes team.

Sam continues

“Working with EMEC was brilliant – they brought the kind of expertise that we don’t have within the charity. They understood the specific needs of our clients, and were flexible enough to cope with our tricky site and some very wet weather!

“The next task is to take the blank canvas we’ve created and make a wildlife garden. So we would welcome any volunteers who could help building a bird hide, plant up the pond or help our clients to monitor what species are visiting the garden.”

Anybody interested in volunteering at Reach Learning Disability’s Flower Pods in Southwell and Newark can contact Wayne Wilmot on 01636 819066 or 07432 17197 or email

You can find out more about our Green Citizen’s project here.

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