Special event held to celebrate Bournemouth churchyard's transformation

·2-min read
Members of the public gathered at St Peters Church to celebrate its transformation.
Members of the public gathered at St Peters Church to celebrate its transformation.

MEMBERS of the public gathered in a Bournemouth churchyard to celebrate its recent transformation into a ‘tranquil green space’.

St Peter's Church welcomed community members to a special event over the weekend following a three-year project to drastically improve its grounds.

The changes were part of Dorset Wildlife Trust’s ‘Urban Green’ initiative, which saw volunteers’ clear undergrowth, plant wildlife-friendly plants, build seating and paths, install bug hotels and bird boxes, as well as create history and wildlife interpreted trails at the churchyard.

Sue Dawson, of Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “This is one of five projects that Urban Green has. It’s to empower communities to improve their green spaces for wildlife and people.

Bournemouth Echo:
Bournemouth Echo:

“St Peter's Church was one of those projects. The grounds here were very much overrun with invasive species.

“There was a lot of anti-social behaviour in the area. There was a lot of drug addicts, homelessness and alcoholics camping in the woodlands, so the idea was to improve the woodland and open it up to encourage more wildlife and insect life.

Read more: Event for St Peter's Church in Bournemouth transformation

“This is a celebration of all the work that’s been done with all the people involved.”

Visitors to the event were invited to an afternoon of storytelling by volunteers about the work they have done for the church.

They were also able to enjoy guided walks, exhibitions, and wildlife gardening activities, as well as a stunning string quartet provided by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Bournemouth Echo:
Bournemouth Echo:

Sue added: “People have walked through the grounds and said how amazing it is.

“The important thing here is that we can give communities the confidence to run these projects themselves.”

Brian Bleese, the chief executive at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s amazing to see so many people come to celebrate the fantastic Urban Green project.

“It’s wonderful to see this transformed into a fantastic place for people and wildlife.

“Contact with nature is good for your physical and mental wellbeing, and we also need to make more space for nature to address climate change and an ecological crisis. This does all of that.”

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