The environmental gardens will provide visitors with a nature experience, comprising seven different wildlife zones and natural gardens.
Chairman of the Garden Retail-award winning centre Ron Bent said: "We are hoping that the new gardens and environmental zones will attract a huge variety of wildlife and insects, many of which are becoming harder to see and experience. It will also be home to a lot of moisture loving natural plants that I remember well from the ponds, bogland areas and fields I used to explore as a child."
Central to the project is a three metre deep pool, which is to be excavated and will spread out into a natural bogland area.
Work to create the central feature and bogland area will involve the extraction of 14,000 tonnes of topsoil and yellow clay until a layer of boulder clay is reached and will be used as a natural lining for the main pool and other wetland areas. The top soil and other layers will be used to form the contours and mounds that will create the divisions and pathways between the various types of and styles of wild gardens.
Bent added: "Boulder clay is a rich brown clay which is often used for brick making and is a great natural lining to help waterproof and seal the sides of the banks and other water retaining areas. The extraction of soil to reach the boulder clay will be a slow process to collect enough to cover the whole wetland areas, but we’re committed to keeping this an entirely natural environment so will continue until the process is complete."
A similar process was carried out when Bents built its man-made reservoir in 1976.
The new environmental gardens are part of Bents’ wider £10m vision for the future which will be rolled out over the next 5-10 years. An extensive new car park, warehouse facilities and a new children’s adventure play area are already complete as well as the Wild Wings Birds of Prey Centre.
Plans include the transformation of the existing centre, creating a larger contemporary retail space with a 2 storey high glazed atrium, a Farm Shop showcasing produce sourced from Cheshire and Lancashire, and opportunities for like-minded retailers to join Bents. Also included in the wide plans is a 1,000 sq m Children’s Play Area for Glazebury Village and nearly 4,000 sq m of Allotments.
Meawhile, Bents Garden & Home has awarded its advertising business to full service agency House to showcase the business as much more than a garden centre and developing the already established Bents is for 'beautiful living' proposition.
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