A Whale of a Time

Grow Wild Engagement Officer, Kate Allardyce, took a trip up north to hear if the rumours of a whale sighting in Hull were really true. To our amazement, yes, a whale was spotted splashing around on a housing estate in this urban spot!

Students from Goodwin Community College’s Greenlife programme with volunteers from TCV Humber were busy creating waves by planting a host of blue and white native wild flowers as part of their Grow Wild project. Beautiful cornflower seedlings sown last month were nearly in bloom, and white campion, harebell, bell flower, viper’s bugloss and more were going in to provide a year round spectacle of flowers to represent the sea.

Back in April the group had sculpted the whale, complete with a splendid tail, from local coppiced willow and were now putting the finishing touches to their creation. Next month they will be sculpting the whale’s blow-hole with chicken-wire as a trellis for climbing plants, followed by more bulb planting of bluebells, snowdrops and summer snowflake in autumn.

The inspiration for the garden came from the local young people who wanted to get involved in a creative and original project that celebrates Hull’s fishing heritage. Danielle Hartley, one of the young people involved, said: “I like coming to help out and to do something a bit different. It’s made people stop and take notice of the area around them and they don’t throw so much rubbish. Local kids have come around to help us and it’s been great to teach them how to sow seeds.”

The Greenlife programme is a person-centred course for young people aged 18-24 not in education, employment or training, which provides a holistic approach to developing personal skills for employment. The course is designed around the needs of the group and focuses on creativity, personal development, enterprise and the green agenda. The young people have really enjoyed doing something positive and innovative in their local community and seeing the difference that a simple garden can make. They will be helping the younger teenagers from the local youth group to get involved over the summer holidays too.

The project is led by TCV Humber who provide a variety of gardening and nature conservation volunteering opportunities for a wide range of groups. 

See more photos from A Whale of a Time on our Facebook page.

Check out more Grow Wild community projects in our showcase. Or find a project close to you by checking out our project map