This Sheffield gardening project is set to inspire the nation in a BBC competition

Wildlife gardening ideas from a Sheffield and Rotherham community project are set to inspire and help scores of people at a BBC Gardeners’ World competition.

By Sally Burton
Tuesday, 16 April, 2019, 12:27
Wild at Heart gardeners

Wild at Heart, a community project run by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, will encourage people to try wildlife gardening at this year’s BBC Gardeners’ World Live Beautiful Borders competition.

The Wild at Heart Beautiful Borders entry, which has been accepted to this year’s competition, is all about trying simple but effective ideas in gardens or community spaces.

Seeds have already been sown in preparation for their entry, by some of the Wild at Heart participants, and they will be growing some plants and making items for the garden as well as being at the show to talk to people about the border and their project.

Wild at Heart is a new and original project supported by the National Lottery Community Fund.

It is engineered for adults aged 50 years and over to improve their wellbeing through seasonal, nature-based activities.

Over the last five years, more than 4,000 people in Sheffield and Rotherham, with an average age of 70, have taken part in Wild at Heart, through more than 700 nature-based activity sessions.

More than two thirds of these were involved for over six months and 1,700-plus reported being more active as a result.

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Working with small local business Baldwin’s Gardening Solutions, the Wild at Heart group will create a wildlife gardening-inspired border similar to the Trust’s own community wildlife garden on Stafford Road, near Norfolk Heritage Park in Sheffield.

Richard, the proprietor of Baldwin’s Gardening Solutions, is on a journey of discovery himself, having struggled with stress for a number of years, especially since reaching the age of 50.

He has always found gardening therapeutic, but now it is a welcome escape from the rigours and stress of his working day.

His passion for gardening, coupled with his desire to seek positive ways to relieve stress, saw him complete a Diploma in Garden Design and he’s now putting that to good use, creating outdoor spaces through his own business.

Jenny King, Wild at Heart project leader, said: “Over the last five years Wild at Heart has proven that connecting with nature and each other creates opportunities for people to spark joy, start conversations which strengthen communities, and can be really beneficial for local wildlife.”

If you’re over 50 and would like to get involved, Wild at Heart is holding Beautiful Borders workshops in April and May, ahead of the competition.

For more information, email Jenny King, Wild at Heart Project Leader, at j.king@wildsheffield.com