Beckingham: New community learning garden officially opens

Michael Brabham, project manager at Groundwork, Coun Liz Yates, Tony Palmer, vice chair of Groundwork and Darren Pollard at the entrance to the garden.
Michael Brabham, project manager at Groundwork, Coun Liz Yates, Tony Palmer, vice chair of Groundwork and Darren Pollard at the entrance to the garden.

An innovative new community learning garden was officially opened in Beckingham on Friday.

The land, next to the recently refurbished Willow Works heritage centre, has been developed to provide a quality landscape setting for community activities, education and events.

Local councillors, residents and students from Beckingham Primary School gathered to see the garden officially opened by Notts County Coun Liz Yates on Friday morning.

Funding for project came from Groundwork’s Community Spaces fund, Notts County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme and the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership.

“The community garden is a wonderful facility for the village,” said Chris du Feu, secretary of Willow Works Community Group.

“The willow plantation will help bring to life village history and provide raw material for rural craft training course.”

“The native species hedgerow and ponds will enhance the wildlife potential of a generally species-poor arable landscape.”

“The young people will see the rich opportunities for environmental education and the area; which also provides a haven for rest and restorative contemplation of the natural world.”

The garden is an attraction and stands as a community facility in its own right, but will benefit from the facilities offered at the Willow Works such as toilets, kitchens, meeting and exhibition space.

The Willow Works building and Community Garden are owned by Groundwork Creswell, Ashfield and Mansfield on behalf of the local community.

In developing the garden area, Groundwork worked with the local community, interest groups and the Beckingham History Group to design the garden.

Trevor Witts, executive director of Groundwork Creswell, Ashfield and Mansfield said: “After the refurbishment of The Willow Works heritage building, it is really pleasing to be able to develop the facility further by creating an innovative and unique community garden.”

“Everyone has worked very hard to bring this to fruition and we cannot wait to open it to the public.”

“It adds even more attraction to what is an already top-class community facility,” he added.