YOUNG Marshall Riddell has been the inspiration behind creating a wildlife garden in his street.
The animal-loving 11-year-old felt sad when he was walking home and saw countryside being lost to make way for new developments.
So he set about writing a letter to housing association Radian, urging it to create a small reserve where hedgehogs and butterflies could flourish.
Marshall, who goes to Horndean Technology College and lives in Jodrell Close, Horndean, said: ‘I saw houses being built where the animals used to live. I felt sorry for the animals.
‘I wrote to the council to say it should design a garden for wildlife.’
Bosses at Radian thought it was a superb idea and they awarded around £2,500 to create the garden under their Life Improvement Grant scheme.
With added help from local police, councillors and members from Radian, plans were soon devised and put into action.
The garden features a section of raised flowerbeds with benches so residents can enjoy the area.
Trees have been planted, with bird and insect boxes in place to encourage wildlife.
Marshall was asked to name the garden and chose Horndean Garden.
Marshall, whose favourite animal is the hedgehog because of its spikes, added: ‘I’m proud to live in Horndean as that’s where my family comes from. It looks really good. I like the apple tree.’
His mum Jeanette, 46, said: ‘It’s absolutely brilliant. I am really proud of him.’
Hannah Turner, community development officer and Radian’s driving force behind the project, said: ‘After so many months of talking and planning it was great to see the garden become a reality.
‘I do hope the residents get a lot of pleasure from it, and that Marshall is proud of the part he played in making it happen.’
She added it was hoped the garden would teach local children how to plant and take care of a garden.
Any Radian resident who wants to improve their local area may be eligible for a grant.
For more information visit radian.co.uk/resident/funding-grants.