Ferring Scouts launch eco garden after two years’ hard work

The official opening of 1st Ferring Sea Scout Group's new eco garden
The official opening of 1st Ferring Sea Scout Group's new eco garden

Wasteland and an old, unused allotment have been transformed into a beautiful garden by Scouts in Ferring.

The project has taken two years of hard work and the end result is a wonderful space for outdoor learning at Ferring 1st Sea Scouts Group, off Meadow Way.

Debs Wilson, parent representative on the group executive committee, said: “Being outdoors is great. Being in a garden offers so many interesting and fun opportunities, teaching children invaluable lessons, healthy eating, responsibility and patience, social skills and escapism.

“Being a Scout gives children confidence and opportunity, and the garden is a valuable asset to our 1st Ferring group.

“The children have so far responded so positively to this garden and enjoy badge giving outdoors, and a new environment to learn and play.”

Two years ago, the area was an overgrown pile of weeds, an untapped resource with the opportunity to make something grow.

It has been an incredible journey so far and all the contributions, whether financial, giving time, digging, cutting, planting, soil shifting, painting, soaking, tying, lugging, fundraising, supporting, watering or constructing, have been vital to the project.

Debs said: “Initially, the most important question to ask the children was ‘what do you want’ and although some of the ideas were crazy, most were inspired. That inspiration allowed a design to come together that could meet the needs of the 1st Ferring Beavers, Cubs and Scouts as they also grow into fine young people of this community.”

Phase one was a complete clearance of all the waste and litter, followed by flattening and protecting the area. The Scouts were then able to use the garden while phase two was carried out, introducing structure, colour, recycling, upcycling, nature and learning into the eco build.

The next phase will be to further develop the garden, so ongoing learning can take place for many years to come.

Debs said: “An opportunity to experience planting the edible garden will bring us a harvest of foods. The fruit trees will flourish and nature has already brought us mushrooms to look at and an opportunity to see the wildlife species develop.

“We have some great resident slow worms and an enormous bug hotel. Bird houses and feeders, and a bee bomb wild garden area, are already bringing exciting creatures and opportunity for more colour, texture and smells as flowers start to grow.

“The children have taken part in some eco brick lessons and we will be giving them the opportunity to take part in cob building too, very soon.”

Donations and contributions towards the upkeep of the garden would be appreciated.