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The Just Bee Garden in Congleton Park.

Back in February, the go-ahead was given to create a new garden in Congleton Park. The Just Bee Garden is based on an original design by local schoolgirl Miss Annabel Jackson (12) at Congleton High School.

On Friday 15 July, just three months after the first tree was planted, Friends of Congleton Park & Congleton in Bloom were proud to hold an official opening ceremony for the new Just Bee Garden in Congleton Park.

A crowd of over 100 gathered at the garden, including over 30 school children from Saint Mary’s Catholic Primary who were also representing Buglawton, Daven and Smallwood schools who couldn’t make it; with about 60 children from The Quinta arrived to learn more about bees, their year 3 project.  Volunteers from various groups, including Congleton in Bloom, Trees for Congleton, the community gardeners, Congleton Food4free, Friends of Congleton Park, who have been involved in the project enjoyed the sunshine, chatting to each other and the numerous sponsors on site, taking photos of all the flowers and the many bees buzzing about. 

Mrs Fiona Bruce MP welcomed everyone to this fantastic new addition to the park.  Mrs Patti Pinto spoke about the history of the project, thanking everyone who had come along to help, with over 150 volunteers spending hundreds of hours planting trees, hedges, wildflowers and perennials, (in excess oof 1000 plants, which are all good for bees), and building two mini drystone walls, the bog garden and the rockery.

Patti also thanked the Streetscape team, all the sponsors and residents who had donated to the garden, either grants, goods and/or their time.  Patti said, “This sustainably-planted biodiverse garden is good not only for bees all year round fulfilling all the ‘Bees’ Needs’, but also for people who can relax here and get away from the stress of everyday life”.

Patti handed over to Annabel who thanked everyone for making her original design a reality. She is able to visit with her friends and family whenever she wants and loves that so much of her original design is now in this garden.

Mr Glen Williams, Chair of Friends of Congleton Park, thanked all for coming to celebrate this fabulous new addition to the park.  He particularly thanked the sponsors whose generous donations made it possible, they included Congleton Inclosure Trust, Margaret Williamson Memorial Fund, the William Dean Trust, Congleton4Congleton, Congleton Rotary Club, Friends of Congleton Park, Congleton in Bloom, Trees for Congleton, Congleton Town Trust, Congleton Young People’s Trust, Congleton Sustainability Group and Congleton & District Horticultural Society.  The paths were built by WAP Lawton, most of the plants were supplied by DJM Nurseries, some plants were donated by Fol Hollow Nurseries, Trees for Congleton and the community gardeners.

Annabel and Mrs Bruce then cut the ribbon for the official opening.  Congleton Radio was on hand to record interviews, while everyone partook of the refreshments by Stock at the Pavilion and ate cake, including a special Bee cake.  A great celebration for everyone there.

Adam Linnet attending from Cheshire Wildlife Trust said, “Everyone at CWT is incredibly impressed with what you have done with this garden. The story behind it is incredible and the outcome is fantastic. As ever, you should be very proud of what you’ve done.  We will be sharing on social media, as it’s a brilliant case study for us to show other Cheshire residents what they can achieve in their local spaces.”

Pictured - Bob Edwards, Town Mayor Margaret Gartside, Annabel Jackson, Patti Pinto and Dave Brown, with children and staff from The Quinta & Saint Mary’s Catholic Primary Schools.

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