Quakers create ‘little oasis’ at Meeting House in Bury St Edmunds

Mark Westley Photography'Wildlife garden at Quaker Meeting House in St John's Street.'Pam and Graham Gosling with Edwina Hughes in the garden. ANL-150906-221845009
Mark Westley Photography'Wildlife garden at Quaker Meeting House in St John's Street.'Pam and Graham Gosling with Edwina Hughes in the garden. ANL-150906-221845009

The garden at the Quaker Meeting House in Bury St Edmunds is slowly being transformed into a haven for insects, bees and birds.

With part of the grounds left wild and unmown, a variety of flowers and grasses have pushed though, providing plentiful habitat for wildlife.

The project, helped along by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, was inspired by one of the Quakers’ yearly meetings which enphised the importance of sustainability.

Edwina Hughes, who is part of the meeting house’s premises committee, said: “We wanted to think about how we can be more sustainable here.

“We thought about the meeting house and how we could make it more energy efficicnet but also about the wildlife in the area.

“We thought we should try and encourage ways for local wildlife to use it.
“Leaving it unmown is one of the things we have done but we have also started to plant hawthornes, hazels, silver birches - native species which will encourage a better spectrum of wildlife to live here.”

The Friends have also installed bird boxes and fat balls to attract birds to the garden as well as little boxes that solitary bees can live in - insects which are currently suffering a global decline in numbers.

The project began in March this year.

“It is amazing what has happened in the garden in such a short time,” said Edwina.
“It is like a little oasis in the middle of town.”

The garden is open to the public and will be part of the hidden gardens offering.