The Limes Community Garden

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The Limes community garden is a project to convert an area of waste land into the Limes community garden adjacent Belgic Court in the Limes, Stanhope. They were granted charity status on the 21st of August 2019 with a charity number of 1185000, relying solely on donations and grants. It is a space which is run by the community for the local community, which is a place of health and wellbeing, creating an oasis of peace and quiet, that the residents will be proud of. They are focusing on growing produce, which can be shared as well as learning new skills and building new friendships in the progress. So far, the community spirit and the community that has been built has been fantastic, with the hope that it will keep growing.

Work originally started on the land in February this year, with the removal of everything from car parts to desks to tyres, taking six lorries full to clear the fly tipping on the land, all done by volunteers. In May this year, they were granted planning permission so they could change the use of the site and build on it, with leasing the land from Ashford Borough Council.

They are already doing fantastic work with a completely renovated shipping container with ramp access, plus chickens (who laid their first eggs two days ago!). They are growing lovely vegetables and have even have a sweet little pond! The produce grown in the garden is free, however if you would like to leave a donation then that would be greatly appreciated. There is no entrance fee either, so please pop down and take a look at what is happening so far.

This weekend they are holding a Saturday Working Party between 09:00 and 13:00, with lots of space for social distancing. In order to attend, you don’t need any special skills, they only require “enthusiasm”, so get yourself down there and help out a fantastic cause for the community! All ages are welcome, including children, just be aware they must be accompanied by parents. So, if you are not sure what to do with the family this Saturday morning, now the weather has changed, then head down and help out. There will be tea, coffee and cake for all helpers (who doesn’t want a bit of tea and cake to start the weekend off?!).

Currently there are a few things the garden needs from the public:

  1. Volunteers for help on their Saturday working parties.
  2. Help with their lease. As they are currently on a temporary lease but have been offered a permanent lease. They would love someone with experience in these types of contracts to take a look over this and make sure they aren’t signing something that in the future could be detrimental to the garden.
  3. They really need to get the container connected to the manhole outside.Do you have anyone in your network who knows what they are doing and could do it either for free or reduced price? They have already have obtained soil pipes, they need to get some inspection chambers too. They have the S106 permission to connect to the sewer, but this is out of their expertise.
  4. They are currently raising funds to help pay for electricity connection, so the garden will be fully useable all year round. They have been quoted £2500 for a connection box from the street to a box inside the fencing. They need to build a box/shed to house the supply meter and find a qualified electrician who would then be happy to wire into the ‘box’. They will need a whole load of armoured cable to run the power to the far end of the site, lots of digging to get the cable buried plus sockets, consumer units etc.
  5. Donations of cash would also be hugely beneficial and appreciated.
  6. Any old or new furniture you may have, focusing on gardening furniture, kitchen items or table and chairs.

Here is a couple of things they have done so far:

“Summer 2019 we ran a stall at The Limes fun day which was held in the play area. At this event we gave away packets of plant seeds to local residents and asked them to sow them, then bring the seedlings back to the garden in the spring. (These are now planted across the front fence line). It was also a perfect opportunity to inform residents about the project and encourage them to take part.”

“John, Sue and Ruth have lived 3 doors away from each other for over 5 years and had never met or spoken until they met each other volunteering at the garden.

They are now firm friends and attend every weekend as a trio.”

For any further information, either head over to their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/limescommunitygarden/ or email Heather at heather@thelimescommunitygarden.org

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