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Hannah Editor
Holmesdale Road 3

Sunflower growing competition

We're looking at 'biodiversity' this week and we're starting with a competition. 

Grow the biggest sunflower for a chance to win some biodiversity goodies such bird boxes, bee hotels and butterfly feeders

Email Kerry.briffitt@southernhousing.org.uk to find out how to get your free seeds. 

Don’t forget to let us know how tall your sunflower got – send Kerry your pictures, and feel free to share with us on our social media channels too.  

We’ll announce the winner later in the year. Terms & conditions apply *.



What is biodiversity? 

It’s a variety of plant and animal life on Earth. It provides food, water and shelter. It also effects the climate, controls disease and influences the climate.  

What does it mean for residents? 

It’s important all our residents and their neighbourhoods have access to quality, green areas and community space. It’s good for your physical health, and your mental health too.  

We’re doing a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure this is the case.  

What we’ve done so far 

We’ve been involved with lots of projects across our regions, including introducing ‘pollinator-friendly’ plants, planting new trees, creating wildlife areas and building wildflower beds.  

Four Courts 1

Four Courts Community Hub Gardening group, Sussex

They've done a fantastic job of clearing and tidying the green areas around the hub, planting and looking after what’s there.  We also had planting beds installed at the front of the hub, donated by one of our contractors.  The volunteers have planted the beds and continue to maintain them. 

Holmesdale Road 1

Holmesdale Road Community Garden

This garden has been transformed from an unused overgrown green space to a functional eco-garden for the community.  It's maintained by our volunteers, who also designed it to be as eco-friendly as possible. It includes a water drainage system, which uses rainwater, and a solar panel to power the watering areas for the plants, and the small fountain in the pond area. The volunteers have been able to grow vegetable plants from seeds using the greenhouse.

St Martins

St Martins Gardening Club, London

This is a resident led group who have worked tirelessly on the St Martins estate to bring the three main local Housing Associations together to improve the green spaces on the estate. 

Tree Planting Morrissons House 2 (1)

Tree Planting - Morrisson House, St Martin's Estate

Together with one of our contractors, Chas Berger, we supported a planting event in March at Morrison House. 

Lake Community Allotment

Lake Community Allotment

Tree Planting Crew Edit

Tree planting at Milton Recreation Ground, Sittingbourne

We came together with Swale Borough Council, Blenwood Grounds Maintenance and other local community groups to plant 500 native trees. 

What the future looks like 

We’re in the process of drawing up a Biodiversity Action Plan to ensure that all our residents can experience the full benefits of being close to nature.  

This will mean: 

  • Looking at our current green land to see if there is any opportunity to expand or improve. We also want to understand more about the species and habitats that might currently be there.  
  • We’ll work with colleagues and residents in a series of workshops to help us set our goals and priorities 
  • We’ll set ourselves targets, which we’ll monitor. We’ll also learn from feedback 
  • We’ll work together with colleagues, partners and residents to ensure we deliver what we said we would.  

Make a difference

There are lots of ways you can make a difference. Here are some ideas from the WWF

These are ones you’d expect to find growing naturally in the UK. Think about plants that would be good for the local wildlife. 

Top 10 British wildflowers

Hedgehog numbers have declined by 98% since the 1950s. One way to help is to make a hedgehog highway through fenced gardens in your neighbourhood. Hedgehogs can travel upwards of one mile per night, so having the ability to travel freely through our gardens helps them go about their nightly business. 

Feeding hedgehogs

Putting out a variety of different bird feed is a great way to attract different birds to your garden and help out bird populations at the same time. 

More information

More useful information


*Competition terms & conditions: The competition winners will be chosen by a member of the Southern Housing team. Please note: sunflower seeds must be planted in pots if in communal areas. The deadline for applications is 30 September 2023. Prizes are non transferable. Competition winners will be informed they have won by a member of the Southern Housing team by email in early October. Southern Housing reserve the right to change their decision to award prizes if there are outstanding problems with your tenancy.

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