Brighter Whitehead is planting sustainably to help our local wildlife

Monday 18 December 2023

Members of Brighter Whitehead, who have been volunteering and working tirelessly since 1995 to make Whitehead a greener and more colourful place to live, work and visit, have planted up the large planter at the war memorial with sustainable flowers, herbs and shrubs.

L-R: Sandra Thompson (Brighter Whitehead), Yvonne Carlton (Brighter Whitehead), Cherry Townsend (garden designer), Jo Adams (Brighter Whitehead), Sylvia Woods (Brighter Whitehead), Ann Kay (Brighter Whitehead), Joe McKernan (Brighter Whitehead)

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, said: “Well done to Brighter Whitehead for their efforts in making Whitehead more colourful and sustainable.

“Planting sustainably is a practice that aims to create and maintain healthy and diverse ecosystems in urban and suburban areas.

“This provides habitats and food sources for pollinators and other insects while enhancing the aesthetic and recreational value of our green spaces. Residents and visitors alike can benefit as the planting can improve their wellbeing and social cohesion.”

Cherry Townsend from Kilcoan Gardens, who is helping the group on their way to fully sustainable planting practices, said: “Our planting areas have all been created with sustainability and wildlife in mind. We never use herbicides, pesticides or artificial fertilisers as we want to keep our soil healthy and our areas wildlife friendly. To mulch our beds or when creating new areas, we use well-rotted horse manure and peat free compost.

“We plant perennials (as opposed to annuals) and flowering shrubs (hebes, fuchsia, berberis and potentilla) together with single flowered roses, all with lots of pollinator friendly flowers.

“All of these plants are sustainable as they will last for many years. Our community garden and planted areas around the village are buzzing with wildlife from the birds enjoying the stone bath to the bees and butterflies feeding on the pollen rich flowers.

“It is so beneficial for our wellbeing to immerse ourselves in these environments, to simply sit and enjoy the sounds and sights of the birds and insects, calming and yet uplifting!”

The Mayor added: “I’d like to personally thank all the Brighter Whitehead volunteers and encourage them to keep up the great work. Whitehead has entered the Translink Ulster in Bloom competition each year since 1995 and have helped Council bring home a host of awards in this time. I look forward to seeing what wonderful wildlife friendly and sustainable displays materialise in the months and years to come.”