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David Bellamy turns green to gold for Lincs park

David Bellamy turns green to gold for Lincs park

Orchards Park, in Ruskington, has been named as a winner of the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level for the 14th year in succession.

Of the 1,000-plus residential parks in Britain, The Orchards is the only one to have consistently struck gold on every occasion over that time.

Presenting the family owners of the park with his award, Professor Bellamy said that they, with the help of residents, had created ‘a wildlife wonderland of which they should be proud’.

A raft of different environment-friendly measures contributed to the Orchards receiving gold once again following its audit by David Bellamy’s Conservation Foundation. Over the years, the park has planted hundreds of indigenous trees and shrubs to create valuable habitats and feeding and breeding resources for wildlife.

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Well used bird and owl boxes are also positioned throughout the grounds, including the gardens of many of the 60-plus park homes belonging to residents.

Among other green initiatives, David Bellamy highlighted the park’s butterfly garden where high nectar-bearing blooms attract a wide variety of common and less familiar species.

Bees, butterflies and other insects are also drawn to the park’s wildlife meadow which is kept free of harmful pesticides, and which supports many types of wild flowers.

Water butts in a number of the gardens of residents – who are aged 50-plus - harvest rainwater for irrigating plants, and help minimise the use of mains water. David Bellamy also praised the park’s shielded lighting which helps reduce light pollution, and gives residents an even better view of the night sky.

According to park owner Tim Wells, residents play a crucial role in helping Orchards Park to maintain its green gold-standard: ‘There is great enthusiasm here for the natural world, and for residents making their gardens as wildlife friendly as possible all year round,’ said Tim.

‘We also keep a log of different bird and animal species spotted around the park, and residents do a fantastic job in adding to this with their sightings.

‘Part of David Bellamy’s award also looks at community involvement, and our charity fundraising work with the help of residents once again helped with our assessment this time around.

‘In recent years our various events have raised more than £11,000 for LIVES, the Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service,’ added Tim.

The Orchards was found over 50 years ago by Tim’s grandmother, Nora Beckett, and was later taken on by his parents Jane and Alec Wells.

Jane and Alec recently stepped back from day-to-day management of the business, but accompanied Tim to London recently where David Bellamy presented them with his award.

More information about the park is available at www.orchardspark.co.uk.