Group converts disused site into wildlife haven

Wildlife preservation volunteer George Millins at the Nature reserve site which is being used for drinking sessions at night, people leaving litter, fly tipping and even leaving drug paraphernalia. ANL-141108-200909009
Wildlife preservation volunteer George Millins at the Nature reserve site which is being used for drinking sessions at night, people leaving litter, fly tipping and even leaving drug paraphernalia. ANL-141108-200909009

A group of adults with learning disabilities have turned a former industrial estate waste ground into a home for wildlife.

Sudbury’s Green Group, from the Leading Lives Community Hub, have transformed a disused site on Chiltern industrial estate into a garden with wild plants, vegetables and wildlife.

Local conservationist George Millins lent support to the project by sharing his vast knowledge and passion for local wildlife, as well as getting involved with the hands on labour.

Sally Rodwell, Leading Lives locality manager, said members of the community hub wanted to create their own garden where they could grow vegetables.

“We were conscious that we had a piece of land that could be put to far better use and where we could develop our environmental expertise,” she said.

“We have been amazed by the results in year one – we never expected to see lizards basking in the sun.

“The adults with a learning disability who form the Green Group are able to be active while working on their projects. They are also encouraged to work as a team.”

The Green Group members hope their work will inspire other businesses on the estate to create more wildlife-friendly spaces.

They are offering their labour and expertise to anyone interested in similar projects.

Mr Millins said he was pleased that the group was getting involved in conservation and transforming the site.

“The idea is to develop these areas,” he said. “We have lost the majority of the old reptile sites which are now underground.”

Mr Millins hopes it will become a home for several local species, including rare butterflies, currently under threat of extinction.