News & DevelopmentsNews RSS Feed

Toggle Search Options

>> List of ALL News

Townend Community Garden

Just over a year ago Townend Community Garden in Chapel-en-le-Frith opened its gates for its first ever community event.  

Committee member Mary Craner recalls;

"We had a wonderful open afternoon in brilliant sunshine, and more than 50 local residents attended. Tina, our town’s most generous baker, baked a delicious selection of cakes for people to enjoy and we spent the afternoon telling people about our plans, which were approved of very enthusiastically by most. On the day we had ten volunteers keen to get involved.”

Planning for the garden commenced in January 2019, with approval from Chapel Methodist Church who own the field. As the field is part of the church conservation area, there were a few initial difficulties getting planning permission, but that was granted in July and the project has gone from strength to strength since then. Mary continued;

"The church started our funds off with a generous £5,000, which enabled us to build the raised beds and begin saving for the bigger projects. Local fundraising events such as two meals cooked by Tina, held in the church, a raffle by Chapel Haberdashery and Waitrose token scheme brought in more. Grants by the Freemasons, the Parish Council, Methodist Insurance, All Churches Trust and latterly a large Derbyshire Action Grant have given us enough to build a low wall around the communal area and lay safe paths to enable full access for wheelchair users and other people with limited mobility. The wall is already built, the paths should be in before the end of October. We had started filling raised beds and planting in the autumn and spring but everything stopped as we went into lockdown. Once we were able to reduce restrictions, we set to work to get some vegetables in and prepare areas for wild flowers.”

The garden boasts an enthusiastic group of volunteers, ranging from just 2 to 84 years old! Everyone helps to care for the garden and enjoys the social aspect of the project. Being an outdoor resource has made it invaluable to residents and volunteers while Covid restrictions have been in place and the group have received lots of positive feedback;

"It’s brought a fantastic feeling of community pride in what we have achieved” 

"I am so happy my children have been part of it” 

If you would like to get involved with the project there are lots of ways you can help, or simply come and enjoy meeting other local people in a safe, tranquil outdoor space. A grant from a local Councillor has enabled the group to buy adapted tools for people with disabilities, so if you love gardening but find it difficult to use conventional tools come and try them out.

The group are aware that Covid-19 has meant they have not been able to do as much as they had hoped, in particular working with other local groups such as the schools, youth groups and Alderbrook centre, who had been enthusiastic about getting involved but are positive that while this work has been delayed the enthusiasm for it is still there. Mary said;

"Recently we have had invaluable support and guidance from our local infrastructure charity, High Peak CVS, in particular advice about making our provision more inclusive and accessible, liaising with social prescribers to identify local people who may benefit from our project and other voluntary groups we can work with. We look forward, hopefully in the spring if not before, to working with the schools, girls and boys brigades and local support groups for people with particular needs, as well as more individuals from the local community, to make the garden a wonderful long-term resource for the benefit of all in Chapel and the surrounding area.”

>> List of ALL News

Website Assistant
  • Groups
    Support
  • Help for your group: setting up, constitution, structure, management, meetings, funding, etc.
  • How
    Guides
  • Information sheets on a wide range of subjects relevant to voluntary and community groups.