In search of a good grandad

RSPB Old Moor needs a grandad.

Not just any grandad, but one who loves gardening and chatting with people and who can give a bit of his time to offer advice on how to make gardens perfect for wildlife.

Because the wildlife garden at the 250-acre wetlands nature reserve, near Barnsley, needs a little love and attention.

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Planned originally in 2010, the garden demonstrates how small steps such as planting nectar-rich flowers or leaving grass to grow longer, can benefit native insects and birds.

However, now it needs someone to help staff and volunteers to keep it in good order.

Liane Holdsworth, Visitor Experience Officer at the reserve, said: “We have pictures around the garden of a grandad character giving advice about composting and how to save water. Now we would really love to bring him to life. ”

This volunteer role would probably suit someone who is retired, loves to be outdoors, and is happy to spend some time talking to visitors about the work being done in the garden.

“We really need someone to love our garden as much as they do their own,” said Liane. “And, of course, if more than one grandad – or, indeed, a grandma – wants to join us, we would be more than happy to have their help.”

Turning the plans into a reality will be a long-term project, helping to encourage visitors to make their own gardens wildlife-friendly.

At present, the garden has a luxury “bug hotel”, a bog garden area, a nectar bar (three oversized tubs/half-barrels for nectar-rich plants, young apple trees, herbs and wildflowers, long-grassed areas and shrubs.

Among the plants growing are the likes of oxeye daisy, poppy, lavender, ground ivy, daffodils, meadow buttercup, sorrel and buddleia.

The garden needs a shed as part of interpretation work (one is on its way) more native plants, a herb and vegetable section to supply the popular on-site cafe, some container planting to encourage wildlife into the tiniest of spaces (eg balconies), but most of all, it needs some love and attention to help it grow.

Would-be gardening grandads should contact Liane Holdsworth on 01226 273837 or email [email protected]