MSP unveils revamped gardens at Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald cutting the ribbon with Alexander Edwind and Emma from the Jupiter Wildlife Watch Club

 Angus cutting the ribbon with Emma, Alexander and Edwind from the Jupiter Wildlife Watch Club

The refurbished wildlife gardens at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre have been reopened by MSP for Falkirk East, Angus McDonald.

Thanks to a £36,000 grant from The Veolia Environmental Trust, awarded through the Landfill Communities Fund, the Scottish Wildlife Trust is undertaking an extensive upgrade at Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre to reinvigorate the demonstration wildlife gardens, improve the all-abilities accessibility of its facilities and improve the on-site interpretation and signage.

The initial phase of this project - the demonstration wildlife gardens - is now finished and ready for the public to enjoy once again.

The gardens have been completely redesigned and are now separated into three distinct areas, illustrating how the most popular domestic garden styles can incorporate wildlife friendly features.

The ‘Upcycled Garden’ demonstrates how domestic products can be repurposed and recycled into beautiful, wildlife friendly features. It also shows how even the smallest garden can incorporate nectar and pollen-rich plants to benefit vital pollinating insects.

Using a more traditional design, the ‘Rustic Garden’ has raised, timber planters filled with vegetables and herbs but still has room for garden birdfeeders, insect homes, a small pond and a small wildflower meadow.

The ‘Contemporary Garden’ is a modern design which incorporates cutting-edge wildlife features, such as a wildlife tower which creates habitat for mini-beasts, pollinators and birds. The highlight of this garden is the wildlife friendly lawn, filled with low-growing wildflowers - perfect for important pollinating insects. 

Commenting after the official opening, Falkirk East MSP, Angus MacDonald said: “I am delighted to support Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre; it is a fantastic asset for Grangemouth and provides a great educational and recreational experience for all ages. That is why I have tabled a motion in The Scottish Parliament today which welcomes the official opening of the upgraded wildlife garden.

“The £36,000 funding from The Veolia Environmental Trust has made this upgrade of the gardens possible and we are all extremely grateful.

“The popularity of the gardens is a credit to the staff and volunteers from the Scottish Wildlife Trust who put a lot of time and effort into the project. I am sure that the upgraded gardens will be enjoyed by many thousands of people over the years to come.”

The Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve Manager for East Central Scotland, Rory Sandison, said: “The Trust would like to thank Angus McDonald MSP for making time to open the refurbished wildlife gardens, and The Veolia Environmental Trust for making it all possible.

“Not only will people be able to enjoy the gardens when they visit, but the real aim is that they are inspired to use some of the techniques themselves. Members of the public are welcome to come to Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre and ask staff more about the techniques and to utilise them in their own gardens.

“Wildlife friendly gardening is a great way to encourage hedgehogs, birds and pollinators to use your garden as their home, while also allowing people to get more in touch with the natural world around them.”

The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, added:  “It is great to hear that these improved gardens are now open so that people of all ages and abilities can visit and enjoy them, and engage with nature and learn about simple steps they can take to make their gardens more wildlife-friendly. I look forward to hearing about the gardens thriving in the future.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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