A £135,000 community wild flower project in Millburn and Ballysally is showing its first green shoots with the appointment of a Development Manager.
The Cornfield, an idea from Aspire Community Partnership which works between the two estates, was last November announced as the Northern Ireland flagship project for Grow Wild, the UK-wide wild flower programme.
Since winning a public vote to secure the funding, work behind the scenes has been frantic ahead of planned planting later this year.
Aspire is aiming to bring The Cornfield, a currently underused site, to life, making it a place full of children’s laughter, wildlife and beauty by bringing people together to enjoy wildflowers and being outdoors. The project plans to create opportunities for learning, new skills and hobbies to benefit everyone in Coleraine and the surrounding area.
New Development Manager Catherine Armstrong, who came into post on February 1st, is bringing a huge amount of experience to the project.
“I think this project is inspirational for communities across Northern Ireland and I am so lucky to get the chance to be involved at this early stage.” said Catherine. “My priorities lie with getting the local communities involved with the new structure of the Cornfield and bringing a fresh new look to a little used site.”
Stéphanie Baine, the Grow Wild Partnership Manager for Northern Ireland, said: “Catherine brings enthusiasm and energy to an important role in the Cornfield, which is the Grow Wild flagship site in Northern Ireland.
“The calibre of people applying for the post was astounding and Catherine was ahead of the herd with her experience of community engagement and project development experience.”
Catherine comes from Newtownards and previously worked at Bat Authority, an environmental consultancy based in County Down.
’The Cornfield Project’ won the public vote at the end of 2015 and now Northern Ireland’s flagship site for Grow Wild, the UK-wide wild flower initiative.
Grow Wild is run by the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew and supported by the Big Lottery Fund.
It is a fantastic opportunity for the entire Causeway Coast and Glens area to benefit. The site will provide a wonderful space for everyone to enjoy and local and wider communities to use and benefit from.
The Cornfield will provide an area that everyone is proud of and has the opportunity to engage in and improve long term – from early years enjoying the great outdoors to older people having an allotment plot to call their own. There will be something for everyone and the scheme will help to connect people to nature and activities and support exciting interactive ways of engaging with an outdoor environment.
The Cornfield team want to thank everyone for all their support during the recent voting period and now extend an open invite to volunteers, groups and local people to find out more about how they can become involved in this amazing project. For more information or to find out how you can get involved please contact Catherine Armstrong on 028 7035 5510 or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thecornfieldproject