KEVI Botanical Garden Project: February 2015 News

002 Azure  2015-02-10Just before half-term, the team from the Azure Charitable Trust arrived at KEVI to begin the challenging work of helping to restore the school grounds.

Eight Horticultural trainees and their staff spent two days working with our Grounds men Michael Airries and Liam. KEVI Alumni Alan Davison, joined in as one of our Botanical Garden Steering Group members too. One of the tasks this time was to make a difference to the school’s woodlands. The team spent their time clearing back the Cherry Laurels, making the pathway walkable and by the end of the two days, the woodlands looked a hundred times better. We are tremendously grateful to the whole team for all their hard work and look forward to working with them in the future too.

In addition to the woodlands work, Alan Davison has just completed planting 100 beech saplings to create a hedge around the Ski Slope covering the large metal fencing that surrounds the area. As it grows, the hedge will act as a barrier to weather which will hopefully encourage better plant growth in the Gangster Gardeners allotment area and it will also provide a habitat for insects, small mammals and birds. Many thanks to the ladies in the Botanical Craft Club for their financial support, led by Gill Miller, the money they’ve raised through their sessions has contributed to over 50% of the cost of these saplings.

Artists Gill Miller, Yvonne Bailey and Julie Buck are all volunteering their talents and time in our Botanical Craft Club and every other Tuesday morning, they offer sessions on how to create Jewellery, Felt flowers and Decoupage items. If you’d like to take part at any time and make something for yourself, it costs £6 per 3-hour session to cover materials and refreshments. Your completed designs can then be taken home to wear or use. It’s a very relaxing way to spend a morning and here’s a selection of things they’ve been making.

If you can’t make a daytime session, you might like to attend our very first evening ‘Make & Take’ session which offers additional refreshments (including wine). Tickets for our April 16th event (6.30pm start) will be on offer very shortly with numbers limited to 20 and on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.

Michael and Liam also worked with Alan Davison over the half-term holidays to plant up the 20 new Scots Pine saplings that have been kindly donated by Morpeth and District Assoc. for Red Squirrel. (MADRS) to encourage the red squirrels back. Scots Pine trees are not favoured by the greys; and we’re very grateful to MADRS and ex-KEVI teacher June Harris for finding a natural and humane intervention to help keep the grey squirrels out.

Check out Azure’s newsletter with information about their work on the KEVI War Memorial.