Monday, 4 July 2011
A Tale of Two Community Gardens
There was a disused, council owned play area near their homes.
They wanted to create a place to relax, to come together, to grow vegetables, fruit trees and herbs.
You may be thinking this is another blogpost about Highfields Community Orchard in Huddersfield but you would be wrong. At the weekend I went to the Association of Green Councillors Conference in Norwich and on the Friday night (before the beer and curry) we went to see a successful project to transform a forgotten patch of land to the rear of some houses into a community garden. Grapes Hill Community Garden was truly inspirational with a project where local people can collect herbs and fruit and disabled wheelchair users can grow their own vegetables in raised beds. We got a special pre-opening tour of the garden which will officially open in August.
Ironically, the local Councillors in Greenhead Ward are supporting the establishment of a village green on Clayton Fields a mile up the road. This is something I very much support not least because I used to go sledging down there as a kid when I lived on Imperial Road. The irony is that the council owns the Highfields land at Wentworth Street. With the smallest amount of political direction it could allow local people to have a community orchard in a built up area with all the social benefit that would come from that. This, unfortunately, is not forthcoming.