02 Jul 2022

Shannon Group unveils new biodiversity garden designed by ten-year-old schoolgirl

Shannon Group unveils new biodiversity garden designed by young schoolgirl

Molly McPhillips at the biodiversity garden she designed | PICTURES: Arthur Ellis

A TEN year-old schoolgirl has seen her winning garden design in full bloom during the launch of Shannon Group’s new community biodiversity garden.

Last year, ten-year-old Molly McPhillips, a fourth-class student at St Senan’s National School in Shannon, won a competition to design a new biodiversity garden in Shannon, after her design was selected as the popular vote on social media.

To mark Biodiversity Week, Molly, along with her classmates, returned to see her inspiring garden design in full bloom during a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the community garden on the Shannon Campus.

Speaking at the launch, Shannon Group’s Head of Sustainability Sinead Murphy said: “As this week marks Biodiversity week, it's fitting that we are here to officially celebrate the launch of our biodiversity garden. It’s fantastic to have Molly and her classmates with us, to see how her design has inspired the garden layout. Molly had wanted a garden that was ‘magical and friendly’ and I think seeing the reaction here today, her design has certainly helped us encapsulate that.”

After exploring the garden and seeing her inspirational design blossom into a new community amenity, Molly said: "I love all the wildflowers and the nature all around here. I am really happy, excited and proud. I planted a tree and I got to put the soil in, and a few of my friends helped me and we got to make a plaque that all my class took part in and we coloured it, to hang up on the tree."

Molly’s winning design included a bug hotel, fruit trees, and a seating area. The garden now features a wildflower meadow and wildflower lawn bursting with native Irish wildflowers such as Wild 'Shamrock' Clovers, Bog Rosemary, Cowslips and Red Clover, to name a few.

The garden is home to bee and bug hotels, an earthen bank for hibernating bees, and a log pile to provide shelter for insects and promote fungi species integral to the garden’s environment. 

The new garden, which is open to the public, is located on the Shannon Campus near the entrance to the Shannon Free Zone and Shannon Airport.

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