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Former Blue Peter gardener Christopher Collins leads gardening project in Wickham Market





A former Blue Peter gardener has helped to transform a patch of land into a thriving garden in Suffolk.

Christopher Collins, who was on the children’s TV show from 2004 to 2014, led the gardening project in Wickham Market near Woodbridge on land off King Edward Avenue.

He worked with housing company Flagship, which manages houses nearby, to plant 36 trees, install bug hotels, lay a pathway with bark chippings and sow wildflower seeds.

Former Blue Peter gardener Christopher Collins with the Flagship team in Wickham Market. Picture: Christopher Collins
Former Blue Peter gardener Christopher Collins with the Flagship team in Wickham Market. Picture: Christopher Collins

Mr Collins said: “I really enjoyed working on this project with Flagship, it was one of those jobs where everyone enjoyed themselves.

“We’ve created an area which will encourage a lot more wildlife and hopefully the community will benefit from it as well.

“This is the type of project that the Flagship team could also implement in other areas.”

Joe McNeill and Charlotte Bane from Flagship pitch in on the transformation of land off King Edward Avenue. Picture: Christopher Collins
Joe McNeill and Charlotte Bane from Flagship pitch in on the transformation of land off King Edward Avenue. Picture: Christopher Collins

The former TV gardener is now head of horticulture at Garden Organic and also used to be the head gardener at Westminster Abbey.

A bog garden was created which is deliberately waterlogged to help to stop flooding and encourage diversity in plants and animals.

Garden Organic is working with Flagship on multiple projects and Mr Collins contributed to a welcome pack for new tenants with gardening tips and a pack of seeds

Dan Salliss, biodiversity and land manager at Flagship, said: “Chris gave us some ideas of what to do there and he joined our team to put them all into place.

The new wildlife garden takes shape. Picture: Christopher Collins
The new wildlife garden takes shape. Picture: Christopher Collins
Bark pathway laid, bug hotels built, trees planted and wildflower seeds sown at the formerly disused site. Picture: Christopher Collins
Bark pathway laid, bug hotels built, trees planted and wildflower seeds sown at the formerly disused site. Picture: Christopher Collins

“The land is on a popular route for people walking into the village centre. We plan to put in a bench as well at some point so people will be able to stop and sit and enjoy the nature.

“The project shows our commitment to biodiversity and improving the green spaces around our homes.”