Portsmouth Road gets Wilder with the help of local school children.

Pupils from Brambles Infant School & Nursery have planted wildflowers in abandoned planters to cheer up their local streets and bring wildlife back to this urban area.

On 23rd March, pupils from Brambles Primary School planted bee-friendly flowers in raised beds outside their local Southern Co-op building on the corner of Heyward and Fawcett Road, in Portsmouth. Their actions were the latest in support of the Wilder Portsmouth initiative led by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust in partnership with the Southern Co-op.

Children and teachers at the local primary school were excited to be involved in the project. Pupils from year 2 spent the morning with the Trust's Wilder Communities Officer, Andy Ames, on Zoom, learning about the importance of wildlife in our urban areas and how to plant and take care of the flowers. 

Six young pupils holding watering cans and gardening tools getting ready to do some planting

© Oli Bradley | Bramble Infant School and Nursery 

Andy Ames explains “The focus of Wilder Portsmouth is to encourage people to take action to create and enhance wild spaces where they live. We are particularly interested in creating, improving, and connecting wild spaces in urban settings, gardens, bits of neglected scrub and local green spaces.

“It is essential that we increase the number of spaces for wildlife and connect more people to nature. This past year, we have seen how quickly nature can recover if allowed and have realised how important being in nature is to everyone’s well-being.”

children planting in planter on side of road

© Oli Bradley | Bramble Infant School and Nursery 

The children planted a wildflower mix of sunflowers, butterfly-attracting verbenas, daisies and scented geraniums. The school's gardening club will be responsible for its upkeep. Now, if you take a walk down Fawcett Road, the bright colours of the wildflowers outside Southern Co-op will be impossible to miss. We hope you will take a moment to enjoy the sight and take a breath to relax - maybe there will be a bee or butterfly you can follow as it goes about its day.

Fawcett Road is not the only street in Portsmouth that is becoming wilder. In the past year, residents from all over the city have joined Wilder Portsmouth, making space for nature on their streets and engaging their community by placing tables outside their front doors and sharing excess soil, pots, and plants.

As lockdown restrictions start to ease, Wilder Portsmouth is planning to develop more Wilder streets and spaces. Residents interested in becoming a part of an existing Wilder street or getting involved in any way to help Portsmouth become more nature-friendly should get in touch at Wilder@hiwwt.org.uk

Man leaning over raised beds to plant wildflowers while two volunteers look on. Beach huts on the Eastney Coast are in the background.

© Trish Gant

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