About us

our aims

To INCREASE BIODIVERSITY within Wirksworth and the surrounding area by

  • Planting native wildflowers and trees on community land and roadside verges
  • Creating wild spaces to encourage native wildlife to the area
  • Providing green corridors to assist nature to thrive and recolonise the area
  • Encouraging landowners to provide land for wilding and assist with the process
  • encouraging and helping people to grow and plant more native plant and appropriate tree species in their gardens, thereby increasing biodiversity within the town and adding to the wildlife and insect habitats in and around the town

ENGAGE with partner organisations to achieve the group’s aims

Share ideas and EXPERTISE with partners and members

UTILISE the skills of members to further the aims of the group and increase its profile

EDUCATE the local community on the need for practical action on matters concerning biodiversity and climate change by, for example:

  • Leaflet drops
  • Press coverage
  • Talks
  • Guided Walks
  • Family Activity Sessions

ENCOURAGE schools to join in activities aimed at increasing natural habitat and teaching RESPECT for the natural world by, for example:

  • Offering guidance on recycling and sustainable gardening
  • Litter Picks – with H&S assessment
  • Offering incentives for removing litter – and recycling it where practical – from community spaces
  • Specific projects and one-off workshops

SUPPORT families and the local community by providing practical help to maintain a healthy environment and encourage wildlife to gardens and communal spaces in the area

RECORD the success of the group by engaging in surveys to monitor wildlife activity in the area

ADHERE to Health and Safety regulations in all that we do and ensure that participants are aware of these at all times

REVIEW these aims annually at the group AGM

Ruth Fantom, co founder

Hi, I am Ruth Fantom. I met Katie a couple of years ago, and were reacquainted in October 2020, when she approached our Rotary Club about wilding the verges in Wirksworth.

I had already expressed my wish to Rotary to start looking at this, so we got together, and, at our first (Covid-safe!) meeting Wilder Wirksworth was born.

My working background was in the Civil Service – Mantra: “You are paid to DO, not to THINK” and “Stop Laughing!”. So after far too many years in that environment I moved into Social Housing, where I was paid to THINK and DO, and was even allowed the occasional laugh.

I was pleased to retire though, and after co ordinating the Wirksworth Memory Café for five years, I now help Katie to realise our dream to Wild Wirksworth.

I am a keen gardener and have always favoured native plants and wildflowers and hate lawns with a passion.

I am a life member of The British Hedgehog Preservation Society since 1987 and have a passion for reptiles and pond life.

I am passionate about animal rights and an avid animal lover having a particular interest in primates and especially orangutans.

I also want to encourage everyone to engage in efforts to help reverse the effects of climate change.

I look forward to helping to create an environment where Nature and people can both enjoy our beautiful town.

Katie Gallagher, co founder

I’ve loved watching birds and being in nature for many a year now, and have been greatly saddened by the state of nature in our country. Knowing we are one of the most nature depleted countries in the world has really shocked me into action. Also during the first lockdown I was struck by the beauty and life in many of the verges that had been left to flourish with native wildflowers.

I’ve also been inspired by Isabella Tree’s Wilding and George Monbiot’s Feral, both of whom speak of the wonderful transformation of a landscape and recovery of nature when we give nature a chance to recover itself.

So I was delighted when Ruth expressed a similar concern and desire to do something about it. There’s nothing like your own patch and Wirksworth being the wonderful town it is, is fill of people with similar concerns, and ready to offer time, energy and expertise to give more space for nature.

I’m really looking forward to getting out there with others to create more spaces where nature can flourish and so create a Wilder Wirksworth!.