Salford park project gets new lease of life

The much-loved therapeutic garden in Salford's Buile Hill Park is being refurbished thanks to a grant from Veolia and the Landfill Communities Fund.

Volunteers dig out an area for a bog garden at Buile Hill Park. Image: Supplied
Volunteers dig out an area for a bog garden at Buile Hill Park. Image: Supplied

The garden is being turned into a flourishing community hub, with new paths, new raised beds and a compost system, as well as new native planting and wildlife-zones to encourage biodiversity.

The project is being led by Start in Salford, which runs the garden. Much of the work is being undertaken by volunteers, who will get the opportunity to learn new skills as well as make a difference.

Start in Salford was given a disused corner of Buile Hill Park in 2011 and since then its members and local people have transformed it into a thriving community growing-space. It is the base for the organisation's 'Start Growing' scheme, which allows vulnerable people to learn horticultural skills and work alongside the community in a range of gardening projects.

Throughout the year, several horticultural workshops are held to help people learn how to 'grow your own'. These hands-on sessions are full of practical techniques such as how to cultivate and maintain crops, growing from seed, and creating and implementing planting programmes, along with advice on essential garden-maintenance techniques such as digging, pruning and watering.

The improvements will cost in the region of £24,000, with funding coming from The Veolia Environmental Trust, which has awarded £22,520 through the Landfill Communities Fund, and from Start in Salford's own reserves.

The local community and current users of the garden identified the need for the work. Start in Salford consulted people when planning the project, and once a design was developed, a public meeting was held at the site to gather feedback.

Development manager Michelle Dennett says, "This project will create an area of beauty, relaxation, communality and interest for all. It will be a place where our members and the general public can come together to grow, make new friends, and enjoy themselves in the fresh air. We cannot wait to see the work complete."

Paul Taylor, executive director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, adds, "This great project will have many benefits. For instance, it will give people the opportunity to learn and have fun out of doors, and will create a place to be enjoyed by all. It is great to hear that it is starting next week – I look forward to seeing the results of the volunteers' hard work."

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