The spur road is the busiest entry to Rawtenstall. After passing the A56 sliproad, the appearance of the verges and central reservation changes. Mown grass, daffodils in Spring and wildflowers in the longer grass are complemented by the absence of litter but all this was forgotten as one approached the traffic lights. Brambles, himalayan balsam, japanese knotweed, litter and fly tipping. The perfect entry for visitors to the town which seemed to say: ‘Welcome to a town which cares little about itself or the environment’
No longer! The layby garden just before McDonalds is a mixture of formal garden planting, wildlife friendly briar roses and shrubs including lavatera, garden loosestrife, hardy geraniums, laurels, ‘fox and cubs’ and forsythia.
Hard graft by our own volunteers, local organisations and with help from staff of national employers under CSR schemes made the changes visible. Additional perennials and annuals have been added for year round interest and colour. Triple bay compost bins have been installed to recycle weeds from this and other gardens thereby creating good quality compost and mulches and reducing groundfill.
Bird boxes and bat boxes along with further planting all figure in our plans but we need more humans to help us install them! If you’d like to join our crazy gang, please contact us.
We want this to be a wildlife friendly area attracting bees and butterflies rather than mammals, due to the fast road. A bug hotel made from pallets helps provide food for birds and bats.
The fence has been painted by Explorer Scouts as part of a community engagement and education project. Additional spring and summer bulbs are adding impact, colour and much needed nectar.