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Wasteland to become community garden
AN UNUSED patch of green space will be converted into a community garden using cash generated from landfill tax.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Veolia Environmental Trust – the charity arm of refuse collectors Veolia – have teamed up to revamp the old station master’s garden opposite the Great Western Hotel, in Vyne Road, Basingstoke.
The garden itself will have a labyrinth maze, plant bedding areas and seating overlooking the 13th century ruins of the Holy Ghost Chapel and the Chapel of the Holy Trinity.
The revamp has been paid for with £9,000 grant from the borough council’s heritage and environment fund. The Veolia Environmental Trust added £10,100 from the Landfill Communities Fund which is generated from tax when rubbish is put into landfill.
The Veolia cash will pay for training volunteers and building a footpath from Vyne Road through the park and down to the historic ruins.
Councillor Rob Golding, the borough’s decision-making Cabinet chief for regeneration, said: “The garden will become a real asset for Basingstoke and will attract more people to enjoy the historic cemetery site.”
Cllr Golding praised the different community groups that have helped to design the park. The council’s own landscaping team drew up plans alongside Basingstoke Heritage Society, and the site was cleared by the Community Payback probation group – part of the Hampshire Probation Trust which oversees community work for offenders.
Funding was brought together by the Hampshire Museums Trust and the project was led by the borough council.
Cllr Golding said: “This is a great example of different groups working together for a common goal. By involving community groups at every level, we are confident that local people will take this garden to their hearts”.
And on October 15 the council is calling for volunteers to add the finishing touches. From 10.30am to 3pm, volunteers will be tasked with planting the area. People keen to muck in should wear sturdy shoes and bring a packed lunch.
A limited number of gloves, trowels, forks and spades will be provided and volunteers are asked to bring their own if they have them.
For more information, contact Katy Hooper on 01256 845649.
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