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RSPB: New barn at Flatford

A new barn at the RSPBs Flatford Wildife Garden is being officially by RSPB Area Manager, Mr Dave Hedges on 6 September.

The barn will showcase the RSPBs Homes for Wildlife campaign which aims to promote gardening for wildlife. It will be open for visitors, school groups and other interested parties to come and discover what they can do to attract more wildlife to their garden as well as doubling up as a classroom for educational visits.

Shirley Boyle, RSPB Flatford Project Officer, said: The new barn is a wonderful addition to the wildlife garden, which in itself is already proving to be a very popular part of visiting Flatford.
Since the wildlife garden opened in June 2011, over 40,000 people have come through the gate. We have run 34 on-site events including guided tours, school visits, volunteering events, and family events with National Trust and Field Studies Centre.

We have been keeping an eye on the wildlife in the garden since we opened and so far there have been 41 species of birds seen, 17 species of butterfly, ten species of dragonfly, six species of mammal, and a mere 114 species of moth. Not forgetting stag beetles, grass snakes, newts, frogs and toads!

Gardens cover almost 3 times as much land as all RSPB reserves put together, and aside from the area, they also have the potential to provide stepping stones of good habitat, allowing wildlife to move across the landscape, in order to find food and breed.

Dave Hedges, RSPB Area Manager for Essex, said The construction of the barn has been made possible by some very generous funding. The project has received 41,797 funding from Viridor Credits Environmental Company, through the Landfill Communities Fund and 2,000 from the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Stour Valley Project, through the Sustainable Development Fund. For these and to all our supporters and members we are and will always be extremely grateful.

Councillor Nigel Chapman, Chair of the Joint Advisory Committee for the Dedham Vale AONB & Stour Valley Project, said We are delighted to support this project. Gardens can provide valuable homes for our wildlife and we wish the RSPB every success with the new visitor centre.

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