Future looks rosy for community garden in West Bletchley thanks to dedicated volunteers

West Bletchley Community Sensory Garden
West Bletchley Community Sensory Garden

A community garden in Bletchley which has been restored by dedicated volunteers is now a contender in the Britain in Bloom competition.

The Community Sensory Garden in Church Green Road, West Bletchley, was built in 1967 and over the years has been in various states of care or neglect.

West Bletchley Community Sensory Garden showing old seating

West Bletchley Community Sensory Garden showing old seating

The Sensory Gardens Community Group decided two years ago to renovate the gardens and bring them back as an asset for residents.

The project has been to rebuild and renovate the garden, originally built in 1967 by international charity Toc H for £2,300 from funds raised from the local community and businesses.

Through time it has been both looked after and neglected, but when the group took on the challenge it was badly overgrown and full of weeds.

The volunteers held their first meeting in March 2016 when they decided on a plan of action which started with weeding, and in particular to remove the mint which had become very invasive.

West Bletchley Community Sensory Garden opening in 1967

West Bletchley Community Sensory Garden opening in 1967

The wooden rails and arbour were stained and building wood shuttering installed, to enclose the large bed at the front ready for planting roses. Men in Sheds were kept busy with the woodwork.

The raised beds have been planted with herbs mainly supplied by local residents, and other planting has taken place.

A spokeswoman for the group said: “Unfortunately the brick work on one of the raised planters was vandalised in early April that year, although this didn’t stop the group from carrying on.” More vandalism the next month forced the gardens to be closed for health and safety reasons, but after continued pressure from the parish council, volunteers and local residents, the gardens re-opened, nearly four months later.

Three old benches that were badly worn with missing struts were replaced by benches that had been made by a local chainsaw carver from a dead ash tree sourced from within West Bletchley. The gate and fence have received a welcome coat of paint, the first for many years.

The gardens were entered into Britain in Bloom and judging is due to take place on Wednesday, July 4 at around 2.30pm.