Community-growing garden to help Ferndown families finished

A PROJECT to create a community growing garden in Ferndown has been completed.

The scheme, run by Seed2Plate, has built the garden at The Centre Ferndown after two years of fundraising and hard work putting the space together.

This week, Seed2Plate’s Green Care team braved the torrential rain to complete the build after securing funding through the Ferndown Family Hub, CLA Charitable Trust and Tesco Stronger Starts, previously named Bags for Help.

Working with Ferndown Community Hub, volunteers and families will be trained to help maintain the space and connect young people with the adjoining Ferndown Common, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The funding will be used to help young people get involved in outdoor horticulture activities, exploring different land-based themes, learning about plants and how to maintain them, the local biodiversity and connecting them to Ferndown Common through horticulture.

The community garden will enable low-income households to grow food and earn qualifications

The community garden will enable low-income households to grow food and earn qualifications

It saw the previously-unused plot of land repurposed, with accessible raised beds that when planted, will produce fresh fruit and vegetables for the local low-income community, while offering skills and Level 1 horticulture qualifications through the National Open College Network.

The project will work with the Ferndown community, families, elderly, and young people from Tricketts Cross estate, the second highest area of deprivation in Dorset, outside Weymouth and Portland.

“There are approximately 800 low-income families on the estate, as well as many elderly, and Hopscotch Pre School currently has 160 children attending from the local area,” a spokesperson said.

“In an area with many older people living in flats, there is little access to public green space for community use.

“It is through talking with these families that we identified the need for this project.

“These raised beds and benches will make this space a place to come and relax, get involved with the local community and grow fresh produce for those that need it.”

They thanked Eco Sustainable Solutions Ltd for donating and delivering the compost.

“We have planted some beetroot, carrot, chard and herbs and lots of strawberry plants to keep the garden going until spring and will be running workshops at the centre in the near future, so watch this space,” the spokesperson added.

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