Planting in St John’s Churchyard
St. John’s Churchyard offers a leafy respite for its local community of residents, schools and businesses. New wildlife and wetlands beds have been planted with a range of wildlife-friendly species. Cherry and magnolia trees provide fragrant blooms in spring, while the age-old London planes and chestnuts provide ample dappled shade (perfect for picnics) in summer.
In 2020 St. John’s Churchyard has undergone significant improvement works to make the park more inviting for local people (and wildlife). Two additional colourful planting beds, wildflower turf and a community allotment bed (opening in 2021) provide a more visually arresting display and will offer residents an area to cultivate vegetables.
The new planting scheme provides a significant space for nesting and foraging wildlife, rich with insects and loved by local bees. Two insect hotels and a magnifying glass have been installed in the upgraded children’s playground, so there’s plenty for young nature lovers to enjoy.
The park’s hard landscaping also provides some puzzling activities for visitors. Sculptor and letter carver, Gary Breeze, was commissioned to design an installation for St. John’s Churchyard, culminating in an artwork that is set in stone at the entry points to the park and next to the western side of the original church foundations.
The artwork contains broken-up passages about the local area, set in different fonts, to create a historical passage puzzle. It encourages visitors to explore the park in more depth and provides some fascinating insight into its history.