A County Durham community garden is set to benefit from a makeover after two organisations agreed to help make it more accessible to the whole community.
Volunteers from Annfield Plain Community Garden welcomed the news after Karbon Homes and Deerness Fencing and Landscape agreed to help them develop their project.
Karbon has donated £1,000 from its community investment fund which has allowed the project to purchase equipment and materials while Deerness Fencing and Landscape, part of the Esh Group construction company, will install fencing and new pathways to make the garden more secure and accessible for all visitors.
The initiative is part of Karbon Homes’ Unlocking Social Value Project which encourages contractors to contribute time, money and expertise to local community projects in the local areas where they are working. Deerness Fencing and Landscape is the contractor appointed to carry out fencing works on behalf of Karbon Homes across the Consett and Stanley areas.
Staff from both organisations joined volunteers this week to carry out works to the garden, which is located on Laverick Terrace and includes land from two allotments combined into one large area. Deerness Fencing and Landscape have brought their experience and expertise to help volunteers install the structures within the garden which includes a community area, a shelter for people to relax in and accessible paths for wheelchair access.
The garden will be available for a variety of groups of all abilities to enjoy and volunteers hope to work with pupils from Croft Community School to teach pupils about fruit and vegetables. Once fully operational, they will provide the local foodbank which runs from nearby Annfield Plain Community Centre with fresh vegetables.
Jessica Wray, Community Investment Officer at Karbon Homes, said: “This project is an excellent example of two organisations working in partnership, helping to shape the communities and places where we operate. Karbon’s aim is to create places that promote health, happiness and wellbeing and I am really looking forward to seeing the positive impact this garden will have on the local community.
“Our funding has enabled the project to purchase essential items such as raised flower beds, water/feed storage, a pond, bat and bird boxes and hedgehog homes to encourage and attract the local wildlife.
“I am looking forward to re-visiting the garden once it has all been completed and I hope many of the residents and local community enjoy this fantastic resource and facility.”
Local resident and project manager, Hugh Embleton, 62, is leading the project and said: “I am deeply grateful to both organisations for helping me with this project – it is work that I wouldn’t be able to complete by myself. To receive funding and this level of support is a huge boost. Once all of this work has been completed, I will be able to get on with the planting and setting up the areas for the wildlife.
“I am really looking forward to seeing this project come together and hope that it will encourage local residents to come along, have a chat, share some ideas and get involved. If anybody can spare an hour or two on an evening or weekend, it will be greatly appreciated.”
Jim Bates, Managing Director of Deerness Fencing and Landscaping, commented: “We always enjoy the fact we are able to utilise our professional skills to support the local communities in which we work. It was a real pleasure to be asked to demonstrate our skills on the Annfield Plain Community Garden.
“Our staff put in an impressive level of hard work and commitment on this project, as they have done for all the other initiatives we’ve worked on over the past 40+ years. I’m looking forward to hearing about this positive achievement in the community as well as hearing the thoughts of local residents as they begin to make use of this fantastic facility.”
If you would like to volunteer, please visit the garden and speak to Hugh.