Quarry wildlife Garden is back to its former glory thanks to 84 volunteers from Swindon, Wiltshire and beyond!
It's already brimming with butterflies, badgers, bees and bugs, but sadly the nettles began creeping over the quarry walls, the pond was choked with weed and fly tippers were becoming unwelcome visitors to the garden, writes Annie Weston of BBC Radio Swindon.
But on Saturday 7 June the Quarry Wildlife Garden in Old Town was home to a BBC Spring Watch Action Team who lavished upon it some much needed TLC.
As Spring Watch Action Team Leader for BBC Radio Swindon it was my responsibility to get people interested in the project.
In the run up to the event I went crazy leafleting the area, calling in favours from a local artist and chainsaw sculptors and generally drumming up support!I even got in touch with Desmond Morris, who grew up in Swindon as a lad, he also backed our campaign! In his words "all around Swindon there are some wonderful places to go but the fact that you are doing something actually in Swindon is even more exciting".
The team of very eager volunteers ranged from 4 to 70 and they turned up an 10am sharp in the glorious sunshine. They were just one SWAT team of 50 up and down the country who were transforming unloved patches on land on Saturday in to havens for wildlife.
After a quick tool briefing on how to use equipment from slashers to garden shears our team got stuck in to revamp the garden!
Highlights from the day must include Claire Matthews and Sue Manning from Swindon. They confidently clambered in to chest high green waders before plunging themselves in the pond to clear the weed.
The whole time they were laughing at the sight of each other whilst trying not to breathe in the smell of the pond water or stumble on the rocks below.
58 year old Rod Hannah from Bromham spent his whole day going back and forth transporting waste out of the garden in his wheelbarrow without breaking a sweat!
Not forgetting 9 year old Lucie Wise who was titled 'woodchip queen' as she set about spreading chipping with her spade over the paths.
Steve Connolly from the Friends of the Quarry Wildlife Garden who created the garden 21 years ago was delighted with the turn out. "Oh its been fantastic, we've seen so many people! People coming from Reading, Devizes. I'm absolutely amazed but it is lovely. I mean we've now got it to the level where we going to be able to start again and keep it at this level. Fantastic!" Steve Connolly, Swindon
By the end of the day the garden started to reveal some of its gems as frogs and great crested newts sat by the pond observing the Springwatch Action Team at work.
Another visitor popped up too. Swindon South MP Ann Snellgrove, she said "It's wonderful to see the spirit of S.W.A.T. I think you've done such a great job. Thank goodness for the BBC and Springwatch".
So much excitement has been generated by the garden this is deemed as just the beginning as many volunteers showed an interest in helping out in the garden on a more permanent basis.
BBC Radio Swindon will naturally be following its progress.
A huge thank you to all involved, I am delighted with the response and it just goes to show that people really do care about Swindon and our community spirit is defiantly alive and kicking.
Photos courtesy of BBC Wiltshire showing the SWAT team in action. Photo above right: SWAT team leader Annie Weston
You can enjoy more photos taken on the day by visiting http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire