Bee foraging inside Narcissus bulbocodium April 2016

The Barbican Wildlife Garden, on Fann Street in the City of London, is a garden with a difference. Part of the iconic Barbican Estate; open to all residents; and covering an area of nearly 2000 square metres; the Garden is an important link in the 'green chain' of wildlife habitats providing a corridor for birds, insects and animals right across London.

The Garden was created over the basements of buildings that were bombed during WW2 when the Barbican Estate was built in the 1970s. Plane trees were planted along the Fann Street boundary and paths laid out then. For some time City Corporation managed the Garden as a conventional city garden but later planted native shrubs such as hazel and bird cherry together with a hedge also of native species (spindle, wayfaring tree, hawthorn and dog rose). City Gardeners continued to mow the central lawn to stop scrub growing but the Garden was allowed to become 'wild'.

A group of Barbican residents, who decided that the Garden was ideal for a city wildlife garden, formed Barbican Wildlife Group (BWG) in 2006. As a result of their hard work over the years, the Garden is now a managed wild space with a pond, pollinator bed, shrubbery, wildflower border, meadow and wooded area. BWG’ members work in the Garden with a City Gardener every Wednesdays, usually from 10 until 12. All Barbican residents are welcome to join the Group, simply by turning up on a Wednesday morning.

In addition to maintaining the Garden, BWG takes part in annual events such as Open Garden Squares, City in Bloom, Barbican Bird Count and the residents’ volunteer bulb planting weekend.  As well as joining the Group, because it is an Estate asset, all Barbican residents are also free to enjoy the Garden’s pleasures at all times.

The pages of this blog are available for visitors and residents alike to view and we hope you will all take this opportunity of doing so and enjoy the vast diversity the Garden offers. As the blog is, like the Garden, evolving, there will be times when its attractiveness is less than we would like it to be but please enjoy all the same.