A group which has transformed a former derelict area into a tranquil community garden has received a grant to help finish creating a second space.
No Walls Gardens, a local community interest company, has revitalised areas along Church Path, in the grounds of St Botolph’s Church, Northfleet.
The company, who work with long term unemployed, ex-offenders, and people with substance abuse or other health issues, offers opportunities for their volunteers to get involved with the gardening, learn new skills, and enjoy the space.
Their first community garden, known as “The Secret Garden” by local residents, has developed and matured over the last three years achieving success in the Kent Wildlife “Wild About Gardens” competition and the South and South East In Bloom “It’s Your Neighbourhood” awards.
Since then the team has been working on a walled section of the church grounds – “The Enchanted Garden” – which is being transformed into a peaceful sanctuary and performance space.
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation has now given the group £19,000 to help complete the garden and for staff to continue its work in Northfleet, including the Edible Ebbsfleet project – which is a series of small scale food growing initiatives along local streets, parks, and gardens both to transform the image of the area and to promote education on the health benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables.
Gary May, Director of No Walls Gardens, said: “Our team has worked tremendously hard on both the spaces here and this money will now help us complete the Enchanted Garden, providing a fantastic peaceful space for the community as well as a venue for local performers to put on open air events.”
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation has also awarded £5,000 to a scheme at Cyclopark in Gravesham for a “safety village” which will provide a space for young people to learn to ride a bike safely. Organisers hope the village will promote safe cycle riding in the areas surrounding Cylcopark, including Ebbsfleet Garden City.