Rewilding gardener opens up her home to inspire people to embrace the natural world.

A Shropshire woman has welcomed the success of her garden event which aims to inspire people to grow their own wildlife haven.

Elen in her garden
Elen in her garden

Elen Sentier, from Church Stretton, has been a rewilding gardener for more than 20 years, with a portfolio of three award-winning gardens at RHS Hampton Court shows.

Now she aims to inspire people across the county to develop their own wildlife garden, proving to them that it can be done no matter how much greenery you have.

Commenting on the event, Elen said: "It went very well. We had at least a dozen people, possibly even 13. These were mostly new people and they've all signed up to the rewilding group.

"We've started a Whatsapp group now where we can share our knowledge."

An old bird box that is used by bees

An open invitation was put out on Facebook and the Shropshire Love Nature Festival website for people to join her at her home in Smethcott, Church Stretton.

It comes as part of the Shropshire Love Nature Festival which ran from July 23 to August 21, showcasing Shropshire's natural heritage.

Events have been running in collaboration with other community groups, businesses and organisations to encourage people to learn more about the natural world.

Elen said that the group have talked about meeting at their local pub to discuss how they can grow and develop to inspire more people to take up rewilding.

She said that the more people that join, the more gardens are being opened up to wildlife.

Elen sitting in her garden

"I was brought up in the country in Exmoor," she said.

"My parents, uncles and family were very into wildlife. One of my uncles was wood keeper and the other was a gardener – he used natural methods.

"I love it. I love wildlife. We have stoats, hedgehogs, weasels, voles, grass snakes and loads of birds – and they come easily."

Elen spent 20 years in London living in a terraced house where she transformed her garden into a haven for wildlife.

And she combined her efforts with her next door neighbour, creating a corridor for wildlife to come to and from the properties.

Starting her current garden from scratch in 2019, Elen wants to show people that it's not as hard as it looks and it can look pretty.

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