Dalton Park is the first retail park in the North to have introduced a Pollinator Parks® Garden.

During lockdown last year, the North East’s largest outlet centre worked with Climate Action North to transform an under-used garden area into an important (and beautiful) insect habitat designed to attract bees, butterflies and more.

The Garden has now begun to bloom and was officially opened by Cllr Robert Adcock-Forster and Cllr Julie Griffiths from Durham County Council on July 15th.

Centre Manager Jerry Hatch explains: “We’re committed to doing our bit for the environment here at Dalton Park, none of the waste produced on site is sent to Landfill, and we also offer electric car charging as well as using energy from our solar panels to feed back into public areas in the Centre. And we were delighted to work with Climate Action North on this small ‘rewilding’ project. It’s been really rewarding to see a rarely used garden area blossom into a place so buzzing with nature.

“To further bring the Pollinator Parks® Garden to life, local willow artist Ruth Thompson was asked to create a butterfly sculpture centerpiece. Perched on a willow flower, it looks fantastic and really celebrates what the Garden’s all about.

“This project is the first in a series of phases to further develop our existing outdoor spaces into areas that will help a wide range of species thrive and flourish. More than 350 wildflower plants were used to establish the garden, containing over 40 different species, all native to Britain and all attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.”

Climate Action North’s Managing Director, Sharon Lashley, said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Jerry and the team at Dalton Park. They have been really receptive to our ideas and understand the enormous positive difference introducing nectar-rich areas will make for our essential pollinators, including bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, and birds.”

According to organisations like The Wildlife Trust, insect pollinators are responsible for every third mouthful of food we eat and are estimated to be worth £690 million to the UK’s economy, thanks to the number of crops they pollinate annually.

The Pollinator Parks® Garden, joins Dalton Park’s 55 acres of landscaped Parkland in providing a biodiverse habitat for a wide range of species to thrive, and a colourful, welcoming and attractive landscape for guests, hardworking staff and retailers to enjoy.