Tim Elliott of the Holland Estate Management Board writes:
We installed a new playground on the estate this summer, in the rear courtyard of Toynbee Street. Residents were keen to introduce planting to green up the estate courtyard and provide habitats for wildlife, and with the help of a Tower Habitats biodiversity grant from the Tower Hill Trust, we’ve been able to do just that.
We have a hedge with five different native species, and the other flower bed is planted up with a wide variety of nectar-rich plants which we hope will be hardy and provide year-round cover, but also attract pollinators.
The project hit a few setbacks due to the overall construction of the playground. The location of the hedge was found to have more concrete underneath than had been anticipated, so we decided to increase the soil depth by building a raised planter. This meant that we were only ready to plant up at the height of the summer. To avoid plant loss from lack of water we delayed until the weather changed in our favour. Work happened in September, when EastendHomes grounds staff, Community Engagement Manager Paul Wilson and I spent a day planting.
We will be adding sparrow nest boxes and insect habitats, with resident involvement to help create and install them. Due to the delays in planting, we’re going to leave this till next summer. The garden will have settled in by this point, and will be a better habitat.
We’re looking forward to seeing more wildlife on the estate when the flowers start to bloom next spring.