Co Antrim nature reserve gets garden makeover to ‘dye’ for

Beach Road Nature Reserve in Whitehead is awash with colour thanks to a £10,000 makeover.

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 6:56 pm
The Mayor officially opened the new Nature Reserve at Whitehead with HLF Chair Mukesh Sharma MBE DL, volunteers & Cllr Maureen Morrow

After months of planting and pruning, new seating areas, shrubs, trees and planters have all been installed using money from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, National Lottery Heritage Fund (HLF) and the Department for Communities (DFC).

Planting of specific flora and fauna to create a natural ‘dye garden’ now provides eco-friendly, natural dye pigments for textiles, soap making, paints and pastels.

Mayor William McCaughey said: “This is a perfect example of reinvigorating traditional skills that have helped shape communities over decades, to bring new life to local communities and the spaces they live in. We really hope residents will get involved in caring for and creating from this new garden.

“This site is protected because of its abundance of wildlife and plant species. All works on site have been mindful of the fact the site is a designated Local Nature Reserve. These new plants will also serve pollinators but new signage raises awareness of the special marine life visible from here.

“We’re delighted that we’ve received this support from the National Lottery players and the Department for Communities to help create something to be used by this community and nature side by side.”

Mukesh Sharma, chair of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in NI, said: “Our local places have become more important than ever throughout this pandemic, and through this fund, we hope to encourage people to get to know their local heritage that bit better.

“This new community garden is a great way for people to come together and explore the local natural heritage in Whitehead.”