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Philanthropist and Loddington CE Primary School team up to plant Coronation Garden for Food & Nature



The project is one of thousands of Coronation Gardens for Food and Nature that have been pledged this year. The scheme is empowering communities to grow food and help wildlife by creating space for nature in gardens and shared greenspaces.

Pupils from Loddington CE Primary School planted plum, cherry, and crab apple trees in the corner of a field next to the school. They were joined by 84-year-old George Cornelius, a local resident and keen supporter of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust.

George has overseen the transformation of a seasonal pond in the field near the school, generously loaned by local farmer David Tanner, into a permanent wetland for wildlife. Alongside the newly planted fruit trees, there is a herb garden and bird hide, which doubles as an outdoor classroom for the school.  Over the next few years, George and volunteers hope the site will develop into a flourishing haven for wildlife.

Plans for the spring include sowing wildflower strips, planting more soft-fruit bushes and installing large bird feeders, which will be kept topped up by the school.

George Cornelius, says:

“It’s wonderful to create this Coronation Garden and welcome the schoolchildren to help improve the area for wildlife. We’ve seen plenty of birdlife including ducks, grebes, herons and a little egret. In the wooded edges there are badgers and some smaller mammals, but I hope wildlife will return in greater numbers. It’s wonderful that the community can enjoy this place and I hope, over time, pupils will be able to learn more about planting and harvesting as these trees grow and bear fruit. We will introduce more plants around the borders for pollinators and continue to improve the wetland, which is so important for insects.”

Pippa Wilcoxson, Teaching Assistant, Loddington CE Primary School, says:

“When we heard about George’s project, we were very excited to be involved. Our vision is to provide children with lifelong learning opportunities so that they’ll want to know more about the environment, animals, and nature throughout their lives. We hope the outdoor learning experience will inspire them protect the environment as well as enjoy it. Having somewhere we can use that is so close to the school is amazing. The children will have access to it all year round so they’ll be able to experience nature as it changes through the seasons. It’s a privilege to be involved in this project.”

Xena, a pupil at Loddington CE Primary School, says:

“The nature and plants here are so nice. I’m happy to be able to help them grow more things around the place to make it more beautiful and better. I would love to see robins singing in the trees.”

Yazan, a pupil at Loddington CE Primary School, says:

“I’m most excited about coming to see the trees and guessing what they are from their leaves. My favourite tree is a sycamore tree. I’m looking forward to seeing fruit growing on these new trees.”

Shelby, a pupil at Loddington CE Primary School, says:

“I love the trees here, my favourite are oak trees. I’m looking forward to seeing dragonflies over the ponds in the summer.”

Coronation Gardens for Food and Nature is run by The Wildlife Trusts, Incredible Edible, Garden Organic and the NFWI (National Federation of Women’s Institutes). The scheme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is empowering communities to grow food and help wildlife by creating space for nature in private gardens and in shared greenspaces.