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Patchway Town Council secures Community Pollinator funding to enlarge Pretoria Road Allotments

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Patchway Town Council is delighted to announced it has been successful in securing £31,500 in grant funding from the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority’s ‘Community Pollinator Fund’ to enlarge Pretoria Road Allotments in order to increase biodiversity across the allotments, increase species of plants and trees, and increase educational opportunities for residents, young people and our schools.

Working in partnership with the Pretoria Road Allotment Society, the project will cultivate a large piece of unused land at the allotment site to create 10 new plots as well as an area for wildflowers and polytunnels.

The project will work with local schools and youth organisations to identify growing needs as well as allowing young people to be immersed in nature. Workshops on pollinators and how different species of plants attract different species of wildlife will form part of the community outreach programme.

By working with Pretoria Road Allotments Society, with over 200 members, it is intended to raise awareness of biodiversity, nature, growing food and pollinators through a series of open days for schools, young people and community interest groups. This will create opportunities our residents to empower themselves through the growing and nurturing of a green space.

Volunteers from our community will be a key driver for the project and drawn through the allotment society and Town Council. A working party will be formed along with a contractor to get the land turned over create the necessary plots and areas for growing.

The project is expected to start in the autumn with completion by late spring 2024 with regular updates on progress and opportunities to get involved throughout the programme.

Mayor of Patchway Cllr Dayley Lawrence said: ‘Through enlarging this currently un-used space, we have a brilliant opportunity to increase the diversity of wildlife as well as creating more opportunities to grow food. As well as the new ‘no dig’ beds and polytunnels, we will be adding semi-mature trees as small shrubs. It is so exciting that through this fantastic funding from the West of England Combined Authority Community Pollinator Fund we are turning this currently unloved area of Patchway in to a place where wildlife can live and thrive.’

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: Bees are bee-rilliant. That’s why I’ve made them a priority for my West of England Mayoral Combined Authority, investing in projects supporting our region’s bee buddies like this one to turn Pretoria Road into a pollinator’s haven!

“This will go a long way in making Patchway an even better place for residents and pollinators alike to call home, and help in my ambition to make the West of England the bee and pollinator capital of the whole country.”

Chair of Pretoria Road Allotment Society Claire Nicoll said: ‘Pretoria Road Allotment Society are proud to be based within our community here in Patchway. We're delighted to be working with Patchway Town Council to create a brand new area including polytunnels and new beds to increase our reach within our community as well as bringing back a pond and building wildlife corridors. We are so grateful and excited for this opportunity from WECA to transform this underutilised area into a pollinator haven.’

The West of England Mayoral Combined Authority’s Community Pollinator Fund is contributing to tackling the climate and ecological emergencies by providing £1 million to promote and fund community-led projects that enhance biodiversity and pollinator habitats across the region, and empower and engage communities to take action.

For more information, visit: www.westofengland pollinator fund

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