'From forlorn yard to wildlife haven' - hopes for temporary housing project

Bury in Bloom have been awarded £4,500 by the Royal Horticultural Society to transform the outdoor space at Britannia House

Bury in Bloom has been awarded £4,500 by the Royal Horticultural Society to transform the outdoor space at Britannia House in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Britannia House

Temporary housing residents going through "tough times" will benefit from new biodiverse green space thanks to funding of more than £4,000.

Three-storey Britannia House in Bury St Edmunds will have hanging baskets and boxes, while the yard will be transformed with vertical living walls, a wildflower meadow roof space, container-grown orchard and a raised vegetable bed. 

There will also be a rainwater harvesting scheme, which is an environmentally-friendly way of collecting water for the plants.

It is hoped the yard behind the terraced building will be turned into a wildlife haven in Bury St Edmunds town centre

It is hoped the yard behind the terraced building will be turned into a "wildlife haven" in Bury St Edmunds town centre - Credit: Britannia House

The Blooming Britannia project is a joint initiative between Home Group, which runs Britannia House, and the award-winning horticultural group Bury in Bloom.

It is one of only 12 schemes to be awarded money by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) as part of its new Community Environment Fund.

David Irvine, coordinator of Bury in Bloom, said: "We are thrilled to receive the award for Blooming Britannia – it’s a great sustainability project that fits in very well with the new RHS initiative.

"We look forward to working with Britannia House on the project that has the potential to bring big environmental gains in the community as well as helping people going through tough times."

David Irvine, Bury in Bloom Coordinator. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

David Irvine, Bury in Bloom Coordinator - Credit: Archant

Anna Pena, Britannia House coordinator, said the project was a "fantastic opportunity" to give their customers the confidence to grow their own food and live sustainably.

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"Our hope is that it will become a showcase to demonstrate how to turn a forlorn yard behind a terraced building into a wildlife haven in a town centre.

"However, it’s also a very important health and wellbeing scheme for our customers, who have little enough experience of the peace and serenity that gardeners everywhere already enjoy," she said.

Work on Blooming Britannia, which has been awarded £4,500, will start in March and be complete this year.

Britannia House is supported temporary accommodation.