Transforming Grow Wilder to take action for wildlife

(c) Nick Turner

Avon Wildlife Trust are developing exciting new plans to create an engagement hub at Grow Wilder that will inspire more people to take urgent action for the restoration of wildlife in their own communities.

Avon Wildlife Trust will be raising money to create a new space at Grow Wilder where knowledge and ideas are shared, visitors are inspired to create positive change and where people can gather to enjoy and connect with both community and nature.

If we are to stand a chance against the twin climate and ecological emergencies we are all facing, we need to be making a bigger impact now. We need more people to join us in taking action across the region and beyond. And this new space will help us do it.  

The new engagement hub will create a focal point in Bristol for those who want to improve their local area for wildlife. For the first time, we will have a fully accessible space to welcome people to our community, answer their questions and start their journey of discovery. This will include space for schools, businesses, courses and more to learn about what we need to do to help local wildlife thrive. 

We will create a café which will showcase some of the fantastic food grown on site, nourishing the bodies and minds of every new visitor we welcome. This will help people new to our movement understand the tangible benefits of growing our food locally and sustainably as well as supporting a number of the small, independent businesses we work with. Alongside this, we will have a shop to sell organic native wildflowers, books, tools and discovery packs for visitors to continue their journey to sustainability at home. 

This new space will be a hub of community activity, bringing people together from different backgrounds to learn from and grow with each other. As we all crave connection coming out of the pandemic, we are excited to imagine a space in which we celebrate the magical seasonality of nature, the bursting vibrancy of Avon’s diverse community and gather with loved ones amongst the buzzing bees and fragrant wildflowers. From seed swaps and farmers markets where we benefit from locally grown produce, harvest festivals where we break bread together and midsummer celebrations where we feast in the warm glow of summer, there’s so much to look forward to for everyone. Our vision for a wilder, more inclusive future will come to life.

We will be able to expand our ability to educate people in Avon about the importance of wildlife and promote a love for nature in everyone. Our vision for the site includes demonstration areas for people to see sustainability in practice such as wildflower lawns, market gardening, composting and wildlife ponds - all with information boards and displays so that we can share knowledge for local people to replicate these nature-based solutions at home and in their communities. Not only this, but we will be able to welcome more schools, community groups, businesses and individuals to the site to benefit from our Lifelong Learning courses, Grow Leader course and schools visits. We want everyone who visits to feel inspired and be equipped with the knowledge to share with friends, family and colleagues. 

Grow Wilder has come a long way since its conception 9 years ago and has inspired many thousands of visitors through the years. However, we have now reached a stage where our infrastructure can no longer support our mission. We need to create a space on site that is accessible to all, inspires our visitors to take action for nature and works for wildlife. To do this, we need to create a building that has as small an impact on the local and wider environment as possible. The building will have a living wildflower rooftop to further boost biodiversity with food and homes for pollinators and other insects. The build will have relatively low impact to the ground and will also be built using natural, low impact materials with minimal carbon impact during construction and when in use.

We need your feedback

We want to be able to engage with people like you on a day-to-day basis to strengthen our movement across Bristol and beyond. We would love to hear what you think about it.  

Please submit your feedback below.

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