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Volunteers needed to help transform land with lotto cash
VOLUNTEERS are being sought to turn a garden in the heart of Swindon into a secret oasis.
After getting a £50,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Community Spaces initiative, The Secret Garden Project is now looking for residents to pitch in to get it up and running.
The transformation of the old rose garden in Queen’s Park into a space for residents started last year and is being managed by Groundwork UK, a partner to the Big Lottery Fund.
Disabled access is currently being put in and the group needs volunteers to help make a wildlife area, plant seeds and build raised beds.
Paul Dixon, chairman of the Queen’s Park Community Garden, said: “We were fortunate last year to get lottery funding and have got the contractors in at the moment putting in disabled access.
“From Easter onwards we are hoping to have residents come along to help with the garden. We will be able to completely transform the old rose garden and make it accessible to everyone in the community.
“It is bringing an under used part of the park back to use, we’re really enthusiastic about it and something the community can really get involved in.
“You don’t have to be a gardener to volunteer, and we are also looking for local businesses and schools to get involved.
“We are expecting the work to be completed by the summer.”
The overall aim is to create a vibrant communal garden area which can be used by everyone to develop food growing and gardening skills.
The group also has plans to develop the garden into four distinct zones, which include an open plan area for meetings and gatherings, with seating and plants.
The garden will also feature an area for growing organic vegetables, a wildlife area, a pond and a sensory garden.
The plans have been welcomed by ward councillor Stan Pajak (Lib Dem, Eastcott), who said it would be a great benefit to the community.
He said: “It is fantastic news and a really great result for the community. “Queen’s Park is a great asset and is an oasis in the town centre.”
Anybody who wants to volunteer for the project can do so by contacting Paul Dixon on 07411 209 173.