New Mills Nurtures Nature event to celebrate grassroots rewilding efforts

A new festival of horticulture will be sprouting in New Mills this weekend with gardeners across town opening their gates to show off their work in the hope more people can be inspired to make their properties nature friendly.

By Ed Dingwall
Friday, 6th May 2022, 11:26 am

New Mills Nurtures Nature will kick off with a launch party at the town hall on Saturday, May 7, 10am to noon, with music, tea and cake and lots of stalls and activities with information and ideas on how to foster biodiversity and support species threatened by the climate and ecological crises.

From noon to 4pm, a dozen private gardens will be open to visitors on a trail which also includes several public sites open all weekend.

On Sunday, May 8, local conservationists will be running guided tours of Goytside Meadows and Mousley Bottom Nature Reserves, 10am to noon, highlighting key features of the local ecosystem.

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The trail booklet is available to download and contains details of all the gardeners, groups and sites participating in the event.

The initiative has been organised under the umbrella of the New Mills Festival, whose director Lyn Bannister said: “We often make our environments very unfriendly to wildlife. Everything’s tarmacked over and sterile.

“This whole project is encouraging people to rewild their gardens, or any other space they have. The fact is that anyone can do it. Even a window box with flowers can benefit pollinators.

“The gardeners who have signed up for the trail have all been trying things out – it could be as simple as leaving part of their lawn unmowed – and this is a chance to look at the results.”

The event will shine a spotlight on the success of the Shaw Farm wildflower meadow, the New Mills Community Orchard, and the work of the New Mills Natural History Society and High Peak Biodiversity Group.

The garden at New Mills School has been designed to offer an ideal habitat to butterflies and other insects.

There will also be chance to learn about the pollinator garden at the Spring Bank Arts Centre, which was created by New Mills School students and other volunteers.

Trail walkers can visit the school too, to see how its winning entry to the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show has matured since 2019 and take part in a free clay workshop.

For full details of the trail, including a trail booklet to download, see newmillsfestival.com/new-mills-nurtures-nature.

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