People in Desborough are enjoying a striking new green space bankrolled by shoppers buying carrier bags in Co-op stores across the Midlands.
The impressive new green oasis at the Central England Co-op on Gladstone Street, Desborough, is studded with plants providing nectar for insects and birds.
It also includes seating, bug hotels, bird boxes and a special ‘boot’ sculpture to celebrate the town’s famous shoe-making heritage.
It’s the second sustainable space to be opened as part of a £350,000 project led by Central England Co-op alongside the charity Groundwork UK.
The initiative is being funded by the Society’s carrier bag levy fund.
Schoolchildren from nearby Havelock Infants School attended the launch event to enjoy activities there and take away seeds to plant at school.
Also joining the fun on the day were residents from both Heather Holmes and Beech Close care homes and local craftsmen who ply their skills at the Shed community scheme in Desborough.
They built the bug hotels, bird boxes and the boot sculpture featured in the space, as well as Desborough in Bloom, who will be maintaining it.
Donna Rood, manager of the Co-op’s Gladstone Street store, said it had been a real ‘community effort’ to transform the “unloved” piece of land.
“It was such a pleasure to launch this wonderful new space at our Gladstone Street store by welcoming both young and old to enjoy this great new asset which has transformed an area that was previously rather unloved but now offers a peaceful and reflective area for locals to enjoy,” said Donna.
“It’s been a real community effort to bring this project to life, with such fantastic contributions by The Shed Desborough and we’re thrilled Desborough in Bloom have agreed to maintain the space. “We’ve even had our neighbours at Desborough Fire Station helping to keep it watered ahead of the launch!
“It wouldn’t have been possible without Sam Tomkins, who is both a member of our Southern Member and Community Council (MCC) and a Customer Service Assistant here at Gladstone Street and a well-known face in the town.
“She is also part of Desborough in Bloom and so passionate about the community and today wouldn’t have been possible without her hard work and dedication to the project.”
Hannah Gallimore, Social Change Manager at Central England Co-op, said: “At Central England Co-op we’re committed to working with our communities to create a sustainable Society for all and our project with Groundwork UK will bring great benefits to those areas chosen and the people who live and work there.
“When we started this project, it was vital to us that the communities would be right at the heart of developing the kind of spaces they wanted to see and help maintain them going forward so they felt like they were ‘their’ spaces.
“To see local people and groups like The Shed Desborough so heavily involved in developing the space and that Desborough in Bloom will be maintaining it in the future has been such a joy and just what we envisaged for all the spaces being created,” added Hannah.