Wilder Eastney - one more #Wilder district in Portsmouth!

Wilder Eastney - one more #Wilder district in Portsmouth!

Last week the residents and community groups in Eastney, Portsmouth were finally able to begin work on transforming the green space along Marine Court.

Six months ago, four local residents in Eastney came together to look at their neighbourhood greenspaces and figure out how they could bring wildlife back to their community. After a successful social media appeal for support for this new project, Wilder Eastney was born, and wilder plans were drawn up. 

Local residents spent the last six months negotiating with the council in order to gain permission to work on their land. They successfully secured £850 in donations and free flowers and trees from local businesses and organisations. On 26th of September 2021, dozens of residents and community groups came together to begin work transforming the green space along Marine Court.

One local resident, Pam Ringland told us; ”I joined Wilder Eastney group as I wanted to play a part in protecting natural environments for the benefit of future generations and use my skills as a retired health professional to promote the health and wellbeing benefits of connecting more deeply with the natural world.”

Many individuals and groups showed up to bring the garden at Marine Court together. The Forgotten Veterans built the planters and helped with the heavy stuff; Sustrans hosted interactive activities; Southsea Green Community Garden gave advice and helped out; Waterfront garden centre donated the plans; and the Wildlife Trust was there, too, showing people how to build bird boxes.

Jenni Jones from Sustrans said, “The event was a great opportunity to meet with people and talk to them about what would make their neighbourhoods better for everyone. Safe and attractive cycling and walking routes mean people can access our beautiful green spaces and of course the coast. People told me they want more street trees and wildflower verges, safer walking and cycling routes and better public transport so they don’t have to use their cars.”

The garden at Marine Court now has raised beds and wildflowers, but Wilder Eastney’s work is not complete. If all goes well, bluebells and snowbells will be planted soon, along with some fruiting trees – a generous donation from the Charles Dickens Orchard. Local residents hope this work will inspire others across the city.

An area that although well-trodden has been given some extra tender loving care and will hopefully become a peaceful haven for both the community and wildlife. Residents will be keeping a keen eye out for the birds, insects, and other wildlife they hope to attract to the area.

“The pandemic has underlined to us the importance of our green spaces and our connection to nature and the positive impact this can have on our wellbeing. It’s more important than ever to breathe life back into these community spaces across Portsmouth for both residents and wildlife.”

Andy Ames – Wilder Communities Officer at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

The Trust is excited to see more and more community groups adopt our vision for a wilder future. Wilder Eastney is doing amazing work to create a nature recovery network in Eastney that will join up with the work we’re doing across Portsmouth to create a Wilder Portsmouth. To find out more about Wilder Portsmouth, a project in partnership with the Southern Co-op, visit our website page here.

If you’d like to find out more about Wilder Eastney and get involved, visit their Facebook page here

Raised bed with plant pots in position to be planted. In the background, Andy discusses with residents.

© Trish Gant

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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