An interactive wildlife garden, home to a giant bug hotel, is returning to the annually anticipated floral spectacular, to inspire children and families to get closer to nature in the city.
The RHS Flower Show – which is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in partnership with the City of Cardiff Council – will this year take place from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 April, and will once again fill the beautiful Bute Park with all things floral, embracing Wales’ Year of Legends, 2017 with a host of themed gardens and features to spark the imagination.
The City Council’s Community Park Rangers, have designed the garden display called ‘A bug’s life - Grow your own adventure’ in collaboration with RSPB Cymru and conservation charity Buglife Cymru, which is devoted to protecting our invertebrates in Wales - from bees to beetles, worms to woodlice and jumping spiders to jellyfish.
The garden is a part of RSPB Cymru’s Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff project, run in partnership with the City of Cardiff Council and Buglife Cymru, which has recently secured funding from the Big Lottery Fund for another five years. The team provide free outreach sessions to primary schools across the city and free wildlife events in Cardiff’s green spaces to help children and their families discover the city’s fantastic wildlife. From pond dipping and bug hunts, to nature safaris and bird walks, the project allows children to enjoy more time in the great outdoors exploring nature on their doorstep.
This year’s garden will see creepy crawlies and mini beasts roaming around a giant bug hotel featuring a lush green grass roof. Children can crawl around, exploring inside the hotel as guests to find clues to help them answer questions on the bug trail around the garden. Giant sculptures of a spider, butterfly and ant will also call the garden home for the weekend.
Plants native to a variety of habitats from meadow to woodland pond will be planted in the garden, with the aim of highlighting the different habitats in Cardiff, as well as providing lots of simple ideas that people can use to make their own gardens more wildlife friendly. The display will feature red campion, bluebells, primroses, cowslips, yellow flag irises, marsh marigolds, ferns and sedges and hazel, oak, and hawthorn trees.
Speaking about returning to the RHS Flower Show Cardiff, Conservation Officer at Cardiff City Council, Nicola Hutchinson, said: “The Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff project is all about inspiring families and children to get outside and enjoy the amazing wildlife in Cardiff’s parks and green spaces. This year we want our garden at the RHS to really show people that by taking small steps to help nature, whether that’s in their back garden, their allotment or even a window box, they can make a huge difference.”
RSPB Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff Project Manager, Carolyn Robertson, said: “Since 2014, Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff has brought over 20,000 children closer to wildlife in the city, helping communities in 90% of Cardiff wards to spend more time with nature. As one of the largest urban parks in Wales we can’t wait to be back in Bute Park for this year’s RHS Flower Show where we’ll have some wild activities for the whole family to enjoy.
“Cardiff is rich in nature and native wildflowers which brighten up our streets and parks and provide vital pollen and nectar to support our bees, butterflies, moths and minibeasts. The RHS Flower Show Cardiff marks the beginning of our relationship with Buglife Cymru and our #WildCardiff Urban Buzz project to increase more pollinator friendly habitats across the city and our Feature Garden will be a celebration of this - with supersized bugs and a wonderful wildflower meadow.”
The show will also host wildlife-themed children’s activities including den building, tree climbing, a children’s trail and seedbomb making. Little ones can enjoy tree climbing, the ever popular schools’ wheelbarrow competition and will also have the chance to create wood cookie name tag necklaces which they can decorate and take home. Bristol Zoo will also be on site to entertain with their plant / animal association game.
For more information or to buy advance tickets for the RHS Flower Show Cardiff visit www.rhs.org.uk/cardiff.