VOLUNTEERS began work on a wildlife garden in Wivenhoe which will become a haven for stag beetles.

A team of green-fingered enthusiasts cleared the site ready to plant flowers and shrubs which will attract butterflies, bees and other insects.

The garden will also cater for stag beetles, which are rare in the UK but have a stronghold in Wivenhoe.

Work began this weekend at the site, behind the Royal Mail office on the High Street, to mark National Gardening Week.

It is hoped the garden will be open in time for the diamond jubilee.

Secondary school teacher John Rowland, one of the project organisers, said: “I was very excited to become involved in this project and have worked as an ecologist for many years, having worked on similar projects like this.

“When completed it will be an amazing area for youngsters to observe wildlife and learn about some of the important issues such as the declining bee populations due to a lack of suitable habitats with wild flowers they need for nectar.

“There will also be some useful plants such as wild edible plants and plants that can be used as dies or to weave baskets with. This will give the schools in the area a fantastic resource to help teach their students.”