Garden Restoration Project




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Press Release

13th June 2011

 KEARSLEY MOUNT METHODIST CHURCH GARDEN RESTORATION PROJECT AWARDED £48,211.10

Church to landscape its gardens and provide a place for use by the community.

Kearsley Mount Methodist Church is to landscape the area surrounding the church building in order to create a community garden that will be accessible to the whole communityThe church is situated on the A666  Manchester Road, Kearsley

The church have just completed the refurbishment of the interior of the church building which has created a beautiful place of worship and a building which is proving to be a valuable facility for use by local community groups. This is reflected in the steadily increasing number of community groups using the premises, for a variety of activities, consequently attracting many more people into the building. Inorder to encourage the continued use by these groups we feel it is essential to bring the area surrounding the church up to the same standard as the interior. Completing the project would not only make the area more attractive, but will also provide a much safer environment.  The funding, £48,211.10, to complete this work has come from the Big Lottery Fund, Groundwork UK, Community Spaces programme.

 

Presently the area that is to be transformed is completely uncultivated with areas of nettles, overgrown grass and paths.

To the rear of the building is an area which will be a community garden suitable for use by various groups particularly children and the older members of the community. Included here will be recycled plastic raised beds for growing vegetables, herbs and flowers. Also included here will be fruiting hedgerows. Bird boxes and feeders will be placed here. A raised patio constructed from plastic decking for easy maintenance will be placed here with access directly out of the church building; included here will be tables with seating suitable for the disabled. A recycled plastic pergola will create a gateway between the community garden and the peace garden.

Down the side of the building there will be a peace garden, this will be a shaded gravel garden with a concrete flagged path which will give a restful feeling to the garden as well as providing year round colour and access.  The planting here will be undertaken with the main objective of preserving the tranquillity of the garden and attracting as much wild life as possible, and will include bird feeders and nesting boxes. A solar powered water feature with running water will add to the peace and tranquillity of the garden. The memorial stones saved from the demolition of the old school building will be incorporated here in a memorial wall. The area generally will provide a peaceful place for people to sit and enjoy the surroundings. 

Galvanised and painted metal railings and gate will separate the Peace Garden from the FormalGarden at the front of the church. Beds at the front of the church will be planted with ornamental shrubs, perennials roses and dwarf fruiting trees. A new flag pole will replace the existing one and the flag will be designed by the local community.

Although the garden is not large enough to feed into the Bolton Biodiversity Action Plan it will create a local hotspot for insects and birds. The project also adds value to the ‘Green Corridor’ of Manchester Road which is actively encouraged by the council. The peace garden will also enhance the Open Space Strategy by providing a quality public amenity where members of the public can sit and rest.

 

The project when completed will have changed what was a piece of unusable overgrown land into a well designed community garden. The design of the garden is the result of extensive consultations with church groups, local organisations and members of the local community. The continued management of the garden will be the prime responsibility of the already established church property management group. This group is responsible for the maintenance of the church building and the surrounding land.

 

Work will start on the garden in mid July and be completed by the end of August 2011.

A celebration open day will be arranged sometime in September 2011.

Consultations regarding the design of the garden have involved discussions with several community groups and representatives of the local authority. During the consultation process groups such as Brownies and Spindle Point School have expressed a wish to be involved in the planting and provision of art work for the garden.

Several members of the local community responded to a question on the questionnaire expressing a wish to be actively involved in the project. Some members of the Music Academy and the Youth Brass Band have also indicated that they would like to actively contribute to the project.

The Youth Inclusion Team has expressed a willingness to help with the on-going maintenance of the completed garden.

The consultation exercise has encouraged all age groups to get involved in the design process which has helped to engender the feeling that the garden will belong to everyone, both within the church and the wider community.

 

The Church decided to apply to the Community Spaces for funding because their criteria fit perfectly with this project. Also the Big Lottery Fund has provided worthwhile funding support to projects like this.

 

Stephen Tonge, Church Council Member for the Community said The involvement of all the organisations in the consultation process has brought people together in the interests of everyone. The wider community have shown a great interest in the project offering their views and opinions through-out the consultation process, resulting in a garden which everyone will be able to share and enjoy.”

 

 

Any other community groups who would like to apply for funding for their project should contact the  Community Spaces. Only community groups in England are eligible to apply to Community Spaces – full eligibility criteria is available at www.community-spaces.org.uk. The programme has been open for small and medium grants (£10,000 - £49,999) since March 2008 and will remain open for these sizes of grants until 2011.

 

-ENDS

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