Platinum Jubilee Garden: Filkins and Broughton Poggs Parish Council

Community case studies


Filkins is widely regarded as the most isolated village in Oxfordshire due to our location on the very edge of the border with Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. Therefore, with only the village bus service running one morning a week it is important for our residents that we provide environments they can enjoy on their doorstep. The project area had previously been a garden to a flat, no longer in existence, and had lain unmanaged for many years – resulting in it becoming overgrown and inaccessible. It is situated in the village centre, along with other important and valued facilities, such as a community-run shop, community swimming pool, allotments and playground.

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The idea for the community garden was proposed at the time of the Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee and the plans included creating an accessible garden for all, with a seating and picnic area.  We had some funding from Filkins and Broughton Poggs Parish Council and from fundraising to make a start but there was a shortfall.

Funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) enabled planning of the garden to progress with a nature recovery angle by including wildlife-friendly features.  It was decided that a turf mix with robust wildflowers would be sown in outer part of the open area.  

Planning and Delivery of the Project

A working group of village volunteers had already been established, and activities including clearing the site, re- establishing a hoggin path to provide better access to both the village allotments and the new garden and the creation of raised borders.  A seating and picnic area were installed within the hoggin area.

A design of the garden was drawn up to include the elements to be funded by the UKSPF (see below).  The work was carried out between late autumn 2023 and early spring 2024.  The lawn seed mix contains annual wildflowers to give some colour in the first year, with the plan being to mow the outer area once a year after the flowers have set seed.  Once established, the central area will be kept shorter to allow access, however plants such as Selfheal, Common Yarrow and Bird-foot Trefoil will tolerate more regular mowing.  A native cherry and two Guelder Rose trees were planted in the open area to provide pollen and nectar for pollinators and fruit for birds.  Beech trees have been planted to provide nesting habitat and screening to the private land on the northern boundary.


The plans for the garden were able to progress with the extra funding from the UKSPF, and we are now looking forward to having a garden which will benefit the wildlife as well the nursery school and the wider community.The Parish Council is now having discussions regarding other community spaces and how we could enhance these to make them more wildlife-friendly. Engagement with local groups, the nursery school and community shop​ got underway to involve them in our discussions and plans.  There is enough seating space on site to cater for nursery school visits to the garden.

Challenges and Lessons Learned

The main challenge has been access to the site.  There is only a narrow passageway from the road to the garden, which meant that materials and tools had to be transported by hand to the site.  Relying on volunteer help to carry out some of the work does require extra time to be factored into plans.

The wildflower lawn areas will take a while to establish, and it will be important to communicate expectations to the community.  Plants considered ‘weeds’ are also wildflowers and are an inevitable part of the process of establishing a wildlife-friendly lawn area.  It will be necessary to manage some of the wildflowers that self-seed to ensure enough wildflowers in the seed mix can establish successfully.  

Plans for the Future

More habitats to encourage wildlife to the garden will be created, including areas for hibernating hedgehogs and refuges for small mammals and invertebrates.  We will be constructing bug hotels and erecting trellis for honeysuckle to provide pollen and nectar for pollinators and cover for birds and insects.  We will also install interpretation boards to inform the community of the wildlife they might spot in the garden.  

We are planning to have an official opening of the garden in late spring 2024 with National Garden Scheme (NGS) participation.

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