Once again idverde’s Contract Manager, Tony Jones, Midlands Horticultural Development Manager, Nicola Clarke, and The Friends of Queen’s Park welcomed The 6th Loughborough Brownies back to Queen’s Park for their annual gardening event. Brown Owl, Helen Cliffe, helped organize the event as part of the Girl Guiding programme designed to ‘help in the community’.

Despite the very gloomy evening, the girls got stuck into the first task which was clearing one of the museum flower beds of the wallflowers which had formed part of the magnificent spring displays. The Brownies had great fun pulling up all the plants and with the help of The Friends of Queen’s Park had cleared the bed completely in no time. The Vice-Chair of The Friends of Queen’s Park, Ray Harding, had the unenviable task of carting away all the arisings across the park to the compost heap.

Whilst digging out the wallflowers some of the girls were lucky enough to find some horse chestnut seedlings which had grown from the conkers that the squirrels had buried during the autumn and had forgotten about. They carefully dug these plants out with the intention of potting them up and growing them on at home until they are large enough to be replanted back in the park.

Having dug up all the old spring bedding, the Brownies then followed Julie Strong, Chair of The Friends of Queen’s Park, to the Dry Garden where they were invited to adopt the plot and come and work on the area as part of the Girl Guiding Programme. The girls were thrilled with the offer and are looking forward to working on their new garden in future.

Having made bird feeders for two consecutive years, the Brownies decided that they might like to try some other way of helping the wildlife and biodiversity in the park. This time they turned their attention to helping butterflies and, with the help of Brown Owl and all the supervisors, made natural butterfly feeders from oranges, cut in half and attached to a wire mount.

The oranges were very sweet and juicy and some of the girls could not resist eating a few—however, there was still plenty left for the butterflies! The (temporarily vacant) greenwall frame proved to be the ideal spot to hang up the feeders as it receives full sun for most of the day and butterflies only take flight in bright sunshine. It was hoped that the oranges would prove to be an irresistible snack for them.

The Brownies did an excellent job helping their community within Queen’s Park and both idverde and The Friends of Queen’s Park look forward to working with them again in the near future.