Preston Park is taking a walk on the wild side at this year’s Harrogate Flower Show.
Rangers and volunteers at Preston Park Museum & Grounds have created ‘A Celebration of Rewilding’, a display border incorporating handmade felt models of native animals.
The show piece reflects plans for some of the borders in Preston Park over the coming months and years; by letting nature ‘do its own thing’ in dedicated areas, it is hoped that native flora and fauna will return.
The display delivers an important message about the benefits of rewilding, not only for nature but for humans as well. Research suggests that reconnecting with nature can have a positive impact on wellbeing and mental health.
It also aims to inspire gardeners to help play their part in protecting local wildlife at home. However tempting it is to tidy, leaving hollow stems, logs, leaf piles and areas of unmown lawns is habitat heaven for bees, beetles, bugs and other native species – essential to promoting a flourishing environment.
All the plants used within the border are native to Preston Park and are species naturally found in a woodland or meadows in Britain.
To accompany this museum volunteers have worked with a local felt artist to make birds, butterflies, bugs and other wildlife.
Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Culture, said: “We are delighted that Preston Park is part of this year’s prestigious Harrogate Flower Show.
“The natural border gives the opportunity to tell the story about the benefits of rewilding and the changes that Rangers and volunteers hope to make to the Park over the next few years.
“We hope that after seeing ‘A Celebration of Rewilding’, people will be encouraged to leave a place in their own gardens for nature to ‘go wild’. In doing so who knows what will grow and what wildlife it may attract?”
You can see ‘A Celebration of Rewilding’ at the Harrogate Flower Show from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 September. For more information about tickets visit www.flowershow.org.uk
There will also be a chance to see the display and learn more about rewilding at Preston Park’s Walled Garden Feast which takes place on Sunday 22 September. Visit www.prestonparkmuseum.co.uk for details.