Part of our work in looking after the wildlife Martineau Gardens is to record what species visit this urban oasis. Wildlife Volunteers Andrew Curran and Brian Perry are responsible for most of our wildlife records and for many years they have carried out weekly moth trappings. They were delighted to report recently, that the 400th moth species to visit Martineau Gardens has now been recorded – it’s quite breathtaking as Andrew Curran’s image below, shows: the Ruby Tiger Moth.
Our moth trap is a light-box contained within wood – it’s put out in the evening, under the Pavilion canopy – the light attracts the moths and some fly in. The box is filled with cardboard egg boxes providing dark nooks and crannies where moths can hide. The moths settle. The next morning, our wildlife surveyors inspect the egg trays, record what has been found and the moths are then released unharmed. Thanks to their diligence, the Gardens now have an impressive list of different moths species identified.
Our wildlife pond is home to a wide variety of life from beetles and pondsnails, to dragonflies and damselflies. Amphibians that are regulalry seen include frogs, toads and smooth newts. Once a year, our wildlife volunteers ‘weed the pond’, removing all the excess vegetation that has grown up. Water lily, yellow iris, water mint and greater spearwort (a large buttercup) are thinned out. Pictured here, Brian and Andrew at work – the vegetation gets left beside the pond to let any aquatic insects return.
One of our staff, Miranda Kingston was recently interviewed for national magazine, ‘Woman’s Weekly’.
Pictured here – is the feature which includes interviews with women at two other community gardens.
In the interview, Miranda gives an insight into her role as one of our Therapeutic Horticulturalists. She describes Martineau Gardens as ‘a safe place where [the volunteers] can socialise, or escape the harsh realities of life for a while’,sees herself as a facilitator developing life skills as well as gardening skills.
Connecting Birmingham children and nature … our future
The pandemic has reduced many aspects of our lives, at Martineau Gardens we want to help children reconnect to the natural world. Help Martineau Gardens win £100,000 to bring environmental education into the lives of Birmingham’s children.
Martineau Gardens are finalists on the Persimmon Homes’ Building Futures shortlist to win a share of £1million pot supporting under-18s nationwide.
Voting daily – yes – really! Vote everyday until 18 September 2020 (It’s possible to vote multiple times each day – please bookmark the voting page and vote as often as you can, at home, at work or by mobile to help boost our vote.)
Environmental education has always been important at Martineau Gardens. Encouraging children to explore diverse habitats and hunt for invertebrates; learn about the natural world and wildlife; discover where food comes from (and how good it tastes) in the vegetable plots and orchard; understand the important role of bees and butterflies in pollination and generally have fun while learning. If we are fortunate to win one of the top prizes we will build a dedicated Environmental Education Classroom and redevelop the play area to enhance the natural play experience.
Tim Bruton representing Martineau Gardens said: “It is a huge achievement to have been selected as a regional finalist, but now we really need people to get behind us and get voting so that we are in the strongest possible position to earn one of the top three cash awards on the night.
We have an excellent Environmental Education programme and thousands of family visits each year. If we are fortunate enough to win the public vote we will be able to build a dedicated classroom and improve the children’s play area to enhance the natural play value.”
Visit the new area on our website: Nature Activities for families
About the prize
Persimmon Homes West Midlands is backing Martineau Gardens to be a prize winner in October, when cash awards of £100,000, £50,000 or £20,000 will be made to those winning the most online votes.
Building Futures is being delivered through the Persimmon Charitable Foundation. Through the scheme, a total of 128 grants of £1,000 have been awarded to groups supporting sport, education & arts and health across Persimmon’s 31 regional businesses and its head office.
Persimmon Homes is an official partner of Team GB and the Persimmon
Charitable Commission enlisted the help of athletes Jason Kenny and Laviai
Nielsen to help determine the three regional finalists for each business
One initiative from each category will go on to win £100,000 each
through a national award scheme to be decided by a public vote.
As well as the £100,000 first prize, there will be a £50,000 second
prize and a £20,000 third prize in each sector, while a further 87 shortlisted
projects will each receive £5,000.
opened on 27 July and will close at midnight on 18 September 2020.
Sue Roberts thoughtfully signalled her intention to step down as the Chair of Trustees at Martineau Gardens, at last year’s AGM. We are all sad to see Sue go, as the organisation has benefitted so much under her stewardship. Sue says of her six years with the Gardens: ”Martineau Gardens is a charity that I truly believe is a jewel in the city’s crown. Receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is a testament to the amazing work of our volunteers, staff and trustees and to the generosity of our supporters.
I have very much enjoyed working with the trustees and with the Gardens’ fabulous staff team over this time. We have seen some wonderful changes and the Gardens are looking more beautiful than ever. Our newly refurbished Pavilion has been a huge success, as has the Jo Malone London Courtyard Garden. Bookings of the Gardens and of the Pavilion have grown significantly. I am delighted that Tim Bruton, a fellow long-standing Trustee, has agreed to take on the role of Chair. I know that post Covid-19, the Gardens will continue to go from strength to strength under the stewardship of Tim, Gill our CEO and the Gardens’ dedicated volunteers, staff and trustees.”
Pictured below, scenes from the Martineau Gardens Summer Garden Party, just one of Sue’s contributions to the Gardens. This annual fundraising event wouldn’t have happened without Sue’s tireless energy, dedication and passion for Martineau Gardensfor which we appreciate her so much for.
As we enter our fourth month since lockdown began, the therapeutic horticulture project, which is at the heart of all that we do and how the community at Martineau Gardens interacts, remains a vital service. In the early days of the pandemic, our staff were doing their best to provide telephone support to the more vulnerable of our volunteers, a service that still continues. As lockdown eased, we wanted to facilitate the return of some volunteers, and this has been made possible by the Heart of England Community Foundation and the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund.
Due to their support we have engaged additional staff and the volunteers are now gardening in socially distanced pairs. It’s through their efforts our two and a half acre site has remained nurtured despite this summer’s extreme weather. The Gardens are an oasis of tranquillity and we look forward to a time when we can share it with you. Whilst most staff have remained on furlough, a slimmed down core team have been delivering fresh, organically grown garden produce to those volunteers not yet able to return to the Gardens and many volunteers are delighted to be receiving medals, in honour of our recent Queens Award for Voluntary Service.
The pandemic has forced us all to look at new ways to stay connected with each other, but has also seen so many of us connecting with nature more frequently. Martineau Gardens’ Environmental Education Officer Juliette Green created a series of on-line events for children and their families to bring a bit of a sparkle to their daily exercise by encouraging them to look deeper at the nature around them. Over five weeks, Juliette filmed various locations around Martineau Gardens and broadcast her videos live which can be viewed on-line.
There’s a range of themes to enjoy, including a pond-dip, a minibeast hunt, a tree tour, a dinosaur hunt and, with Sam Walker (our volunteer beekeeper) a close up investigation of one of our beehives. Not just for children, these films are very informative and will further knowledge of the natural world around us. Here’s a sample of two of the films, with more to follow soon.
Inside the Hive – bees at Martineau Gardens
Juliette and Sam find out what’s buzzing inside the hives.
Tree Tour of Martineau Gardens
Do you struggle to identify trees in leaf? This video of a summer walk , narrated by Juliette video is full of information and tips to help you!
We love sharing
Martineau Gardens and the joy of gardening with our visitors. Until we are able
to open our gates again in full, we hope you will enjoy this one-off
opportunity to purchase a little bit of Martineau Gardens. Something to take
home for your windowsill, front step or garden and to remind you of us.
At the Plant Sale, you’ll be able to purchase plants and compost (limited supplies) but, with regret, there will be no access to the gardens, toilets or picnic/play areas. There will be no refreshments. *Social distancing measures will be observed (full details below).
What’s for sale?
The plants available include a variety of perennials and annuals grown by the Martineau Gardens volunteers including herbs, scented geraniums, irises, strawberry plants, and so much more.
Multi-purpose peat-free compost is available, though limited to two bags per household. Pay at sales point in exchange for a voucher, and a volunteer will be on hand to exchange the voucher for the compost.
What to expect:
We strongly advise you to read the following before visiting the Plant Sale
In order to keep you,
our visitors, and our staff and volunteers safe during the Plant Sale now that
government guidelines relating to Covid-19 are relaxing, please read the
Arrival at the Plant Sale:
On arrival in the car
park, if there is a queue, pedestrians should please join the queue at the head
of the access lane, observing the 2m social distancing guidance. If arriving by
car, please park and join the queue/ remain in your car if there is a queue.
If the car park is full
the gate will be closed. Please try again later. Parking is only available
within the Martineau Gardens car park.
There will be a one way
pedestrian system in and out of the Plant Sale (entrance via the track and Tai
Chi Lawn, exit via the Welcome Shelter).
Two people per household only beyond the Welcome Shelter with
max of four people (two households) in the Plant Sales are at any time.
During your time at the Plant Sale, please
observe social distancing of 2m with staff and other customers and observe the
directional signage for the one way system. If the additional person with you
is a child, please keep them close to you and supervised.
Please only pick up plants you will be
Please bring your own bags or boxes to put
your purchases in.
We anticipate 20 – 30
minutes for each visit
Please note there will
be no toilet facility available.
If you, or anyone in your household is displaying
Covid-19 like symptoms, please do not visit the Plant Sale.
Advice for those with limited mobility:
Parts of the one way route may be challenging for wheelchairs since the route passes over grass (the Tai Chi Lawn) and gravel (the track). If this poses a concern for you, please contact the office on 0121 440 7430.
We prefer card sales,
but can accept cash.
If you would like to add a donation to your purchase we will be most
Please remember that the toilets, picnic and play
areas, buildings and wider areas of the gardens remain closed during the Plant
The herb bed with welcome shelter in the background
Martineau Gardens during Lockdown
Your purchases will help to support the Gardens during this difficult time. If you’d like to know what’s been going at Martineau Gardens during Lockdown, please keep an eye on our website, follow us on social media or sign-up to receive our email bulletins here.
Martineau Gardens remains closed to the public, the plant sale is a one-off fundraising activity.