YOUNGSTERS attending a Barry children’s centre have caught the wildlife gardening bug following the transformation of some unused land into a wild garden.

Vale of Glamorgan Youth Offending Service’s (YOS) Mark Bishop and Mark Robertson recently visited Gibbonsdown Children’s Centre to view the completed project.

A forest school style garden has been developed thanks to funding from YOS and Barry Town Council.

Centre manager, Gill Monro said: “This was an overgrown part of the grounds which wasn't being used.

“We have been able to develop a forest school type garden for the children to explore nature, listen to stories, look at bugs and wildlife.

“We are so grateful to Mark Robertson and his team of young people who worked so hard clearing the area, gathering logs, laying woodchip, collecting pallets and stones, to make the garden what it is.

“The young people used the project as part of their reparation and have certainly given back to this community. This took in excess of 60 hours in some really wet, cold conditions over the autumn and winter.”

Out of school club supervisor, Julia John said all the children at the centre were able to use the area.

She said: “The children in the play scheme have taken responsibility for weeding and planting. We have some tadpoles which are growing at a rapid rate. They love to look at the changes and 'spot the frogs'. During the summer holidays we hope to plant some herbs.”

YOS assistant manager, Mark Bishop said: “We were pleased to help Gill and her team in developing the garden. Projects like this that really make a difference makes community reparation meaningful for those young people that are having to make amends to the community as part of their order from the courts. The young people that took part worked extremely hard knowing that what they were doing was going to be enjoyed by the children that live in their communities.”

For information about centre services, contact Gill Munro on 01446 732692 or email