A COTSWOLD village’s new wildlife garden has burst into life. The first of two mini-meadows is in full bloom with red poppies, blue cornflowers and yellow corn marigolds. The air is alive with bees and butterflies. The success of the joint project between Mickleton and its Methodist church was celebrated last week with an afternoon of conservation activities for children and cream teas for everyone, organised by the village community group. The Three Bees Garden was started in the spring on a large lawn next to the church. Volunteer gardeners of all ages from the village and congregation included sisters Grace Slatter, 15, and Holly, 13, whose spadework will help them to qualify towards a Duke of Edinburgh Award. They created a bed of Michaelmas daisies with seeds given by Kew Gardens. Rose bushes in memory of local residents are blooming. Grassy banks have been planted with bluebells, primroses, hellebores, lavender, buddleia and honeysuckle. A second mini-meadow planted with 29 wildflower species including yellow rattle, self-heal and meadowsweet will mature next year. Nearly £4,000 has been given by charities and individuals for plants and for benches, picnic tables and display boards about wildlife. Donors include the Greggs Foundation, charity arm of the bakery chain, NatureSave, a “green” insurance company, the parish’s J. M. Dixon Charity and Cotswold Seeds of Moreton-in-Marsh. The church’s idea for the garden means it is heading for a silver award in the EcoChurch scheme, which encourages Christian green initiatives. The congregation also promotes fair trade groceries and recycles mobile phones, batteries and computer cartridges. The Three Bees Garden’s name derives from its slogan, Bee Responsible, Bee Respectful, Bee Friendly, and echoes that of the Three Ways House Hotel, which stands opposite in the village centre.