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Volunteers transform community garden in Thornhill

young boy and older woman
Sheila Clarke and Isaiah, one of the centre's young volunteers, water one of the new flower beds

Volunteers in Thornhill have “mucked in” to transform a community garden in Thornhill.

The outside space at Thornhill Community Centre in Leadon Court had become overgrown and wasn’t being enjoyed by residents. It was a space dedicated to Bob Clarke, a local resident and busy volunteer, who passed away in 2016.

four women by a flower planter
(l to r) Brenda Flewelling, Leanne Lloyd-Tolman, Sheila Clarke and Jan Smith are some of the volunteers who transformed the garden

The team of volunteers recently cleared weeds, overgrown bushes and jet-washed the slabs. They successfully applied for a grant from Torfaen Council’s Local Places for Nature project and several large planters and railway sidings were installed in the garden.

Volunteer Brenda Flewelling said: “This is a complete new start because everything had gone to rack and ruin. The idea is anybody can come and pick stuff if they want it.”

a boy waters plants watched by an older woman

Volunteer Leanne Lloyd-Tolman said that a large group of residents “mucked in” on a recent bank holiday weekend to tidy it up: “It is going to be a place of quiet contemplation but we want it to work for the community, so we run our food bank here. We are going to plant lots of vegetables and fruit so we can supplement what we’ve got. It also offers a place for someone to come and learn new skills.

“We may be able to give them cuttings or seedlings so they can that to their own houses and use those skills to feed themselves. The idea is that it is going to be working for the community. It’s a lovely place, really calm.”

Volunteer Jan Smith said: “It was a hot day but it was a good day. I couldn’t stand a lot so they put me on a table doing the planting in the pots.” Leanne joked to Jan: “You were in potting heaven!”

two women brushing patio slabs to clean them
Volunteers cleared the patio of weeds and jet-washed the slabs

Photo gallery of the new garden

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Volunteers transform community garden in Thornhill