A neglected area in Stanmore will be transformed to help children connect with nature and enjoy woodland walks, open-air storytelling and bush craft.

The project adjacent to the Carroll Centre in Somers Close will open up an unwelcoming woodland area to create a footpath, den-building space and develop a seating area for Poppins Nursery. Local children will help create wildlife habitats such as bug houses, hedgehog houses and bird / bat boxes. Wooden sculptures will be added including a large carved badger. In the first phase of the revamp starting this week, overgrown vegetation and rubbish will be cleared from the site by a group of local volunteers, Carroll Centre staff & trustees and young people from the Amber Project.

The project forms part of a national scheme to help communities to develop ‘pocket parks’ – Winchester City Council bid for funds from a national pot in partnership with the Carroll Centre, which provides activities for children, young people and families. The site is also home to the 8th Winchester Scouts comprising two scout and three cub units, and Poppins nursery school for children aged 2-5 years old. 

Cllr Lucille Thompson, Leader of Winchester City Council, said: “This is a fantastic community-led project that will transform an unkempt area, into an urban oasis to help children and families to enjoy nature on their doorstep.”

Jool Heller-Dixon, Carroll Centre manager, said: “We were thrilled to be awarded this grant and to have the opportunity to enhance a neglected piece of woodland and make it a welcoming space for children to explore and observe wildlife.”