Adventure Centre for Education awarded funding to transform Girvan openspace area

The area near to the Girvan Academy bike trails that ACE and the community garden hope to transform with their Cycle Wild project.
The area near to the Girvan Academy bike trails that ACE and the community garden hope to transform with their Cycle Wild project.
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Girvan based Adventure Centre for Education have been handed a major funding boost as part of their plans to transform an area in the town.

The group have received £5,000 for its Cycle Wild project which aims to turn a boggy, grassy area adjacent to the new bike trails at Girvan Academy into a cycled themed garden.

The project is part of the Royal Botanic Gardens campaign “Let’s Grow Wild” which aims to inspire people in Scotland and across the whole of the UK to transform nature spaces with wild flowers helping to brighten them for future generations.

ACE are leading the project and are being supported by the Academy as well as Girvan Community Garden. The garden itself will be designed by young people from the community with support from Girvan Community Garden.

Rachael Grenter, Cycle Wild Project Coordinator, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding to make this project possible. This money will allow us to improve the area around the bike trails making it an educational and exciting garden with a difference and will hopefully encourage people to use the cycle trails.”

Grow Wild is a £10.5m programme bringing people together to sow, grow and enjoy UK native wild flowers. 97% of wild flower meadows have disappeared since the 1930s.

Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Grow Wild sets out to encourage people to transform urban spaces, gardens and windowsills into wildlife-friendly wild flower patches. The Scottish Grow Wild campaign is partnering with Greenspace Scotland and Youth Scotland.

Grow Wild is also a response to studies which have shown that communities across the UK, including those in South Ayrshire are now more fragmented than ever before and young people in particular do not often have the freedom to connect with nature.

This month around 80 special Grow Wild projects across the UK, with 13 in Scotland including Cycle Wild in Girvan, South Ayrshire have been awarded funding to help them transform unloved spaces with life and colour through wild flowers. Ranging from derelict pieces of land, neglected railway sidings and unsightly public toilets, the spaces will get a vibrant new lease of life, thanks to funding from Grow Wild and the energy, effort and creativity of groups of enthusiasts and volunteers.

The 13 community projects across Scotland have been awarded £41,070 funding in total including sites in Edinburgh and the Lothians, Glasgow, Fife, Argyll and Bute, Stirling, Falkirk, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, the Scottish Borders and Shetland.

Gay Coley, Director of Public Programmes for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said: “As well as helping our wild flowers to flourish and bring life to unloved spaces, Let’s Grow Wild is about people re-connecting with the natural world. It’s about discovering and enjoying the beauty of our wild flowers and engaging with the spaces, places and people around us.”

Over the life of the programme (which runs until 2017), Grow Wild wants to inspire three million people to sow and grow wild flower seeds and share their results through social media. Over the last month, 4,300 groups have already signed up to receive special Grow Wild seed kits, including through residents’ associations, wildlife trusts, Girlguiding UK, UK Youth, the Prince’s Trust, Youth Scotland and the RSPB.

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