Wakehurst garden is blooming great idea

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Plans for a new garden project aimed at helping community relations blossom are being considered by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

A community garden is a shared space where people of all age groups, abilities and backgrounds come together to grow their own fruit, flowers and vegetables.

A report presented to the council’s Operational Committee last Monday set out proposals for the transformation of ground close to Wakehurst Playing Fields, Ballymena, to cater for a community garden.

Members of the Ballymena South Community Cluster (BSCC) had initially sought to create allotments on the site but opted to pursue a garden project following study visits to allotment sites in Greenisland and Eden.

Having considered the opportunities and challenges posed by such allotment sites, the group decided that a community garden would be more appropriate for their needs in Wakehurst.

Community gardens provide easier access for elderly participants and those with disabilities than traditional allotment projects.

They also require less physically demanding work than managing an allotment, as the work on a community garden is shared.

Such gardens provide neighbours with the opportunity to interact and create a sense of community ownership and stewardship.

Seating and picnic tables could also be provided within the Wakehurst community garden, council officers said.

Members of the Operational Committee were briefed on the progress of discussions around possible uses of the site.

Council officers previously met with residents from the Harryville area to discuss the scheme.

Members of the Operational Committee agreed to proceed with further discussions around the current plans and consider any alternative potential uses put forward for the site.

Extensive consultations with the local community will continue over the coming months.