Newground Together wants to renovate North Valley Community Garden in Colne after help from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund
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Rosie Fenwick of charity Newground Together wants to renovate North Valley Community Garden – and she’s looking for local volunteers to help.
The North Valley Community Centre in Colne exists for the benefit of all the residents of Vivary Bridge and the North Valley Estate.
The estate is part of the Together Housing Group, parent group to Newground Together.
More than a decade ago, resident Jim Smart led the development of a community garden at the centre. “Jim was a real figurehead for the local community,” explains Rosie Fenwick, senior project officer with the Great Outdoors team, part of Newground Together.
“With his wife and other volunteers, Jim created a wonderful space for local residents.”
Sadly, Jim passed away in November 2018 and Brenda, his wife died in June 2021.
Covid temporarily closed the community centre and, with no one taking the reins, the garden was left to go wild.
Growing a gardening community
Fast forward five years, and the centre is just one of four local green spaces that Rosie is seeking to reinvigorate with the help of Newground Together and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. And it’s not just the gardens that are set to benefit.
“My project is specifically geared towards getting people outside and encouraging them to become engaged with nature,” Rosie explains. “That might be gardening and veg growing, but it might also be harvesting, learning how to make products out of the things that we grow, getting creative through natural arts and crafts or learning more about habitats and biodiversity.”
The garden at North Valley Community Centre is the flagship for the four projects “because there's already all the infrastructure in place for groups to meet and be comfortable, including the very cosy ‘Hagrid’s Hut’ complete with wood fired oven!” and is the first to launch, with a second project now also underway in partnership with the DEEN Centre in Brierfield.
Over the summer, Rosie ran several ‘Nature Club’ sessions for families and now with autumn in full swing, she’s eager to spread the word and get more adults involved by experiencing the garden for themselves at upcoming open volunteer sessions.
“We’ve got a poly tunnel, veg growing areas and a lovely memorial garden,” Rosie said. “We’re now busy building raised beds. I would love to build a core group of volunteers who can bring their own ideas, develop their skills, take ownership of this place and help steer its direction for the future.”
How to get involved
A former teacher who’s been growing her own food for 20 years, Rosie is excited to share this beautiful place with the community, because she knows the benefits nature can bring.
“The sense of wellbeing that comes from connecting with nature is wonderful. You don’t have to be an experienced gardener. You don’t have to be a Together Housing resident. You just need to live locally and want to help us bring this wonderful community garden back to life.”
This project by Greener Together Pendle (which also incorporates the Energy Team’s project) has received £304,252 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
To get involved, contact Rosie and the Great Outdoors team on 0300 330 5535 or email [email protected]