Next Door Nature Norton Project

Friend of Norton Quakers and local Community Champion Helen Deehan brings the Norton Quaker Meeting House Graveyard to Life.

The Next-door Nature Norton project is on the back of the National Wildlife Trust Next-door Nature campaign. Finding spaces to help inspire communities to increase nature in their own spaces and in the process create new nature spaces in our communities.

The project is a collaboration between Norton Quakers, Teeswildlife, BMBF and Helen Deehan with funding secured from the Tees Valley Nature Partnership & BMBF to cover materials.

Phase 1

With a no dig option due to the grounds being an ancient burial ground plus a large space to tackle, the project was broken into 4 zones. The first phase saw the creation of a new log bed. The cedar logs being a hard wood will give the new space time to bed in but giving plants important structure. The logs encourage insects and fungo, all beneficial to the biodiversity of the grounds.

20 tonnes of soil was moved into the log beds which will be used to plant hedging and flowers which support inspects, pollinators and local birds.

New hedging is planted including

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) – one of the best native hedging plants for British wildlife.

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) – a native shrub with autumn sloes, adored by hungry birds.

Field Maple (Acer campestre) – attracts insects that are a good source of food for birds.

Alder (Alnus glutinosa) – host to a large number of insect species that are excellent food for nesting birds.

Dog Rose (Rosa canina) – seasonal colour provided by red autumn leaves and berries as well as white summer flowers.

Bird Cherry (Prunus padus) – fragrant flowers and good autumn colour.

An array of plants are now being planted. Local children have also come on community days to help grow sunflowers which will be part of phase 2!