News Stories

Natural play, a hop, skip and a jump away thanks to funding
20 April 2015

Friends of Ferndown Local Nature Reserve in Newcastle under Lyme secured a £50,000 grant from Biffa Award; a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund. 


The project, which was awarded funding under Biffa Award’s Recreation theme, created a natural play area within Ferndown Local Nature Reserve (FLNR) to support creative play, encourage confident exploration and help children and their families develop a lasting affinity with the natural world.  The new play equipment includes timber elements to complement and reflect the nature reserve and boundary areas will blend with the surrounding area.  Interaction with nature is encouraged thanks to the installation of a bridge over a newly created marsh feature as an entrance to the play area; a lookout point with a telescope for bird watching and complementary wild flower planting.


Since Ferndown became a designated local nature reserve in 2008 the Friends of Ferndown Local Nature Reserve (FFLNR) has worked closely with the borough council's biodiversity officer, investing significant time and energy to benefit wildlife and local residents through the creation of a series of wildflower meadows, a wetland pond and a Jubilee orchard.  The site received national recognition at the 2013 Green Apple Awards at the Houses of Parliament, London. 


Roy Clarke, Chairman, Friends of Ferndown Local Nature Reserve, said:


“This project was long overdue and will be an added place of enjoyment for the whole family to come and spend time together on the nature reserve.  Our thanks go to Biffa Award and all those involved in making this possible.”


Maggie Corrigan, Resident, said:


“It is such a pleasure to have Ferndown Local Nature Reserve on our doorstep.  This helps to promote flora and fauna and brings joy to local residents who use this area for recreation.”


Gillian French, Biffa Award Programme Manager, said:


“This project by the Friends of Ferndown Local Nature Reserve is an excellent example of how the Landfill Communities Fund can help improve local spaces for the enjoyment of the community.”