Arundel MP encourages young designers to submit ideas for natural feature at Rolls-Royce

Sunday, 28 February 2021 14:44

By Carl Hartley - Radio News Hub

The company is asking children aged from five to 11 to suggest features that would enhance the Wildlife Garden at Rolls-Royce HQ.

Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffiths has tweeted encouraging young designers and naturalists to submit their ideas for a new feature in the Wildlife Garden, at the Home of Rolls-Royce in West Sussex. 

It launched on Thursday and closes on 19th April 2021. 

The company is asking children aged from five to 11 to suggest features that would enhance the Wildlife Garden and its habitat value to local flora and fauna. As well as ideas to nurture wildlife, such as pollinator-friendly plants, trees and flowers, bird feeders, bug hotels and nest-boxes, children can design seats, shelters, sculpture and other items that would make the Garden more appealing to Goodwood’s human population, too.

The winner will be chauffeur-driven to the Home of Rolls-Royce, then perform an official opening ceremony for the rejuvenated Garden, before viewing their winning feature in its new setting. The winner and runner-up will also receive a unique 3D computer-generated image of the Wildlife Garden, with their feature in pride of place, created by the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Design Team with the same software used for designing customers’ cars.

The Wildlife Garden occupies a small, secluded area of the Goodwood site to the south of The Drive, just inside the main gates. Established as part of the original landscaping when the plant was built in the early 2000s, it provides excellent habitat for a wide variety of plants, insects, birds and animals native to the south of England. It also offers valuable opportunities to observe and learn about nature for groups including children from the neighbouring March CE Primary School.

Other frequent visitors to the Wildlife Garden include the inhabitants of the Goodwood Apiary, a colony of around 250,000 English Honey Bees housed in six suitably palatial hives in a secluded location elsewhere on the site. The bees are responsible for producing ‘the Rolls‑Royce of honey’, a rare and exquisite natural bounty reserved exclusively for the marque’s customers and VIP guests.

Rolls-Royce is working with two key partners on the project, which lies close both to the ancient cathedral city of Chichester and the boundary of the South Downs National Park.

Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for Environment and Chichester Contract Services at Chichester District Council said: “The Rolls-Royce Wildlife Garden sits within our proposed Strategic Wildlife Corridor, running east of the city, one of several connecting Chichester and Pagham Harbour with the South Downs National Park. Wildlife corridors are incredibly important for protecting biodiversity, particularly pollinators, by linking areas of habitat that have been fragmented by human activity. The Wildlife Garden forms a vital link in this chain of habitat, and will benefit honeybees, bumblebees, butterflies, and bats, among other species. We’re really proud to be supporting this project that will help to safeguard our district’s diverse wildlife – a key aim of our Strategic Wildlife Corridors project and Local Plan Review.”

Julie Fawcett, Chair of the South Downs National Park Trust, said: “We’ve worked with Rolls‑Royce for a number of years, notably on its wonderful Goodwood Apiary project. We’re delighted to support this development of the Wildlife Garden and a National Park Ranger will also be carrying out a formal wildlife survey.

“It’s inspiring to see major local companies taking a real, tangible interest in their surrounding environment, and making an important contribution to the ecological health of the wider area. Nature doesn’t recognise boundaries, so a key aspect of the National Park’s Nature Recovery Strategy is to help create a network of wildlife havens right across the South East. This Wildlife Garden is nature recovery in action and it’s great to see people collaborating to boost biodiversity.”

Nicky Metcalfe, Headteacher at March CE Primary School, said, “Rolls-Royce is our nearest neighbour – our school is just outside the gates to the Goodwood site – and we've always enjoyed a close working relationship with the company. Our children were involved in the original launch of the Wildlife Garden when it was first created, and it's proved an incredibly valuable resource for teaching and learning ever since. We're very excited about this new phase in the Garden's life and development and can't wait to see the new features the competition produces.”

Gillian Keegan, Member of Parliament for Chichester, said, “I encourage everyone locally to get involved in this exciting project. This is a great opportunity for children to make a lasting contribution to our area and provide a space to benefit nature. The next generation is hugely aware of the challenges facing our environment and I look forward to seeing the wonderful ideas that come from the competition to improve our natural habitat.”

For more details and to submit designs you can visit:

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