Middleton Community Garden
The Middleton Allotment site is owned and managed by the Parish Council and has been used to provide plots to local residents for many years. Unfortunately, due to various ongoing problems with soil quality and flooding on the land, it was proved not suitable for accommodating allotment plots, and therefore, another purpose was needed for this site. The Parish Council are now planning an exciting project to convert this neglected piece of land into a a wildlife-rich community garden that can be enjoyed by local residents.
Planning the project
Vision for 2023: To create a peaceful outdoor space that provides rich biodiversity and a relaxing area for local residents to walk, sit, and enjoy the scenery and wildlife.
Joint partnerships: We are proud to be working with The Parks Trust, RTM Landscaping, and Community Trees MK on developing this project.
Background: This piece of land is nestled in a quiet corner of Middleton, surrounded by glorious countryside and only a stone throws away from the historic Milton Keynes Village. The land itself is currently covered in wild grass enclosed by a native hedge boundary and accessed via two wooden gates. The surrounding area is being enhanced by The Parks Trust to create a 'wood meadow' for increasing the population and diversity of local wildlife. Just to the side of the allotment site is a secluded orchard, and at the front of the allotment site are retired paddocks that were once used for horses. It is very easy to access the site on foot in a few minutes by those in Middleton, Milton Keynes Village, and Oakgrove. There is no parking available on site.
Timeline and updates:
4th March 2021 - The 8 trees of remembrance and peace have now been planted across the Parish - locations to be published shortly.
2nd March 2021 - The tree avenue has been planted at Middleton Allotment site. 10 trees in total have been planted to create a striking avenue with 5 trees on either side and a grass path running along the middle. The tree species used were Cherry Blossom and Field Maple. We hope that they will create lovely colours in Spring and Autumn
January 2021 - 18 Native tree species have been ordered and will be delivered soon. These trees will be stored until we can plant them on site and around the parish.
December 2020 -Soil and land has been tested on site and has been proved suitable for a pond. The site will now go under a thorough assessment process to see the changes in water levels over time and estimate how quickly a new pond would fill up and be able to retain water.
June 2021 - Formal confirmation received from The Secretary of State to go ahead with planned Community Wildlife Garden.
April 2022- 10 additional native trees have been planted, along with the current 8 avenue trees. The soil and topology was found not to be suitable for a pond, so instead we will be aiming to create larger wildflower areas instead.
June 2022- The area where the wildflower will be sowed is getting ready, by removal of then grass and then preparing the soil for sowing in Spring 2023.
November 2022 - Over 400 trees planted inthe area by Community Trees MK and 60 volunteers from the local area. These trees have created two woodland copses.
Community Garden in process, April 2022
Wood Meadow Habitat
A wood meadow is a special habitat that allows wildlife to access and pollinate meadow wildflowers, whilst being able to have a pockets of dense wooded area nearby to find quick refuge. The Parks Trust are in the process of completing a large woodmeadow transformation that will surround our community garden, and allow our garden to be part of a much larger wildlife rich area.
What will our Community Garden include?
Seasonal wildflower meadow
Short grass exploration paths
Recycled plastic benches
Native tree avenue and arboretum
Dense pockets of plants and shrubs
An open access into the surrounding woodmeadow
Peace Commemoration display across the Parish
The Parish Council have now planted 18 trees across the Parish as an act of remembrance.
Why 18? The number 18 signifies the number of conflicts the UK has been involved in from WW1 up until present time.
These trees have also formed part of the tree avenue at the Middleton Allotment, and the others will be planted across the parish.
Who will maintain the site?
This site is owned and managed by The Parish Council and our officers will be regularly checking the site. Our landscape contractors will continue to maintain the site including looking after the meadows, pond and trees.
What type of trees will be planted?
All the trees will be medium sized and native, and will provide seasonal interest
Will dogs be allowed on site?
Dogs will be allowed on site but should be kept under control and should not trample on the meadow areas.
Will the site remain enclosed and access via a closed gate?
The site will be opened at all times, and the gates will be removed and various access points will be created to enter and exit the site.
Will there be a picnic area or benches?
Benches will be provided for people to sit and relax whilst enjoying the scenery. Picnic benches and tables will not be provided, but visitors are welcome to picnic on site if they wish. Bins will not be provided, so all visitors MUST take their litter home with them as it can be harmful to the surrounding environment and wildlife.
What is happening to the area surrounding the site?
The surrounding area is managed by The Parks Trust and will remain as a greenspace with a 'wood meadow' habitat
What is the timescale on this project?
This project will not be starting until a decision on change of land use has been received by the Secretary of State.
Have further questions? Get in touch below