Lyme Regis garden has become oasis for wildlife

Simon Beadles garden
Staples Terrace resident Simon Beadles, who has transformed his small garden into an oasis for wildflowers, birds and other wildlife, winning him an awards from the Dorset Wildlife Trust in 2020

SIMON Beadles’ wildflower oasis in Lyme Regis was first photographed by me in July 2016 and has since come on leaps and bounds, writes Francesca Evans.

Simon, en ecologist and writer, has lived in Staples Terrace for the past six years. He gained the attention of Dorset Wildlife Trust in 2020 when his garden seemed to tick all the boxes as a wildlife refuge and he was subsequently awarded with a small plaque in recognition.

Simon said: “One of the key ingredient in re-wilding is to allow nature to broadcast her own seeds, like the beautiful foxglove or lent lily.”

He now has more than 60 different species of wild flora in his modest size garden, including the very rare wood vetch with its bunches of exquisite lilac-striped, sweet pea-scented flowers, and blue groomwell with its intense bright blue flowers.

Among the fauna there are numerous slow worms living in the rotten timbers, and common green and meadow grasshoppers living in the natural environment among the wild grasses.

Wood mice also seem to be co-habitating under the wild herb planters. Bird species such as gold finches will gorge on the seeds of teasels in later summer and blue tits, which feast on the green aphids, festoon the many wild roses.

This time of year, Simon goes off and collects rotting leaf litter near a 300-year-old oak tree, close to Haye Farm. Once back in his garden, he scatters the leaves among the wild shrubs of gelder rose, spindle, sea buckthorn and hawthorne and is then greeted by robins, dunocks and wrens who tuck into the many tiny insects.

Earlier this year, Simon said that whilst the house sparrows were feeding off the copper feeder, out of nowhere a sparrowhawk dive-bombed these vulnerable small birds. Luckily, they quickly took cover and the raptor vanished into thin air.

If you feel inspired by Simons garden and would like to discuss re-wilding and growing a natural garden, you can call him on 07870 603 345 to arrange a viewing.

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