Residents Go Wild For Biodiverse Garden Planned for Maplewood Court
Maplewood Court care home has enlisted the help of the Kent Wildlife Trust to create a garden to boost biodiversity for the whole community. Plans for the garden are underway with cleaner air and rejuvenation of local wildlife top of the agenda – with many of the residents at the centre of planning and implementing the green vision.
Residents at the purpose-built care home have been able to help grow plants for the space and bring in some of their favourite flowers to leave a lasting legacy that will benefit the whole community.
Christine Smith, 75, is looking forward to cuttings from her family’s garden taking root. “I’ve contributed a cutting from a Japanese Maple that I’ve always loved,” she said. “It will be fantastic to see it every day and share it with friends here and the community.”
Fellow Maplewood Court resident Frances Walker, 88, is thrilled at being able to have a positive impact on the environment, she said: “The garden is our contribution to a worldwide problem.”
Maplewood Court is run by Oakland Care, the UK’s only certified carbon neutral care home group. The Care Home also has an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating, a scheme that assesses a building’s sustainability and environmental credentials.
Its dedicated ‘Greener Month’ in September 2022 saw residents and staff litter picking on nearby streets and the home is a community recycling point for used batteries.
To maximise the potential of the garden Maplewood Court teamed up with The Kent Wildlife Trust in order to focus on the flora that would really benefit wildlife in the area. Head of Business Services Aaron White said on behalf of Oakland Care: “We invited experts from Kent Wildlife Trust to the Home to help bring together a design for a wildlife garden that would positively contribute to biodiversity in Maidstone, as well as providing an interesting and attractive area for the enjoyment of our residents and their families.
“The volunteers from Kent Wildlife Trust came and sat with our residents and the Oakland Care team to develop the design using both their expertise and the vast gardening knowledge that our residents hold themselves.
“We also worked with ‘Low Carbon Kent’ and secured some resources for the project under their Biodiversity Regeneration Scheme.
The garden will develop further over the winter and into spring 2023 and forms a part of Oakland Care’s sustainability strategy. We are excited to see the team digging out the path and pond over the next 2 weeks, and initial planting will follow in a few weeks’ time.
We hope to welcome local residents, school children and other interested groups to the garden to help us monitor the impact the development is having on biodiversity as the area develops over the next couple of years.”
Maureen Rainey from the Kent Wildlife Trust said: “We hope the space will encourage wildlife and already some residents who like to sit in the garden have offered to help record the different types of wildlife that appear, helping us keep a track of what is thriving and what might need extra help.
“This is such an important project for the whole community as it creates an urban wildlife corridor to enable creatures such as hedgehogs to move freely and safely between green spaces.”
Find out more about our sustainability journey at Oakland Care