Derek the Weatherman predicts a sunny outlook for Nightingale Community Garden
10:18am Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
BBC weatherman Derek Brockway was in Dinas Powys recently for the opening of a community garden, where residents can grow their own food.
The launch of the Nightingale Community Garden celebrated the success of two years of hard work by local residents, community councillor Keith Hatton, the Vale council's operational manager for housing, Mike Ingram, and the support of the Community Foodie project.
Community Foodie is a pioneering project run by Creative Rural Communities, the Vale of Glamorgan Council's rural regeneration initiative, supporting community groups to develop their own food growing initiatives.
The idea for the Nightingale Community Garden was conceived following concerns about fly tipping, graffiti, dog fouling and antisocial behaviour taking place at the site.
Now, after plenty of hard work and dedication, the community can now stand back and see the fruits of their labour.
The Nightingale site consists of a range of growing plots for all skill levels and abilities, growing beds for the disabled or those with restricted mobility as well as a community gathering area that will be used for hosting growing workshops and food based events.
As well as giving hands-on support to the project, Community Foodie also contributed £5,000 in start-up funding for the development of the community food growing project. A further £28,000 came from the Welsh Government's Tidy Towns initiative.
Elizabeth Millard, of the Dinas Residents Group, said: “When we first discussed the idea to transform the area into a community garden for local residents, I was instantly excited by the plans.
"I was also aware of the need for further support and specialist knowledge to get the project off the ground. So when we contacted Rob McGhee from the council's Community Foodie project, I was really pleased that his support would be able to help turn our dream into reality."
Rob McGhee of Community Foodie said: “I feel so proud to have been involved in a project that has achieved so many positive things, from providing a place to grow food, learn new skills, bring people together and instil a real sense of pride and ownership in a space that was up until recently a no-go area. I also feel that it is the people and their combined enthusiasm that has made this project what it is and will continue to make it a special place for years to come.”
Cllr Keith Hatton said: “The site had been brought to my attention many times by local residents and I felt it was time to try and turn a negative situation into a positive one. In doing so, I hoped it would create a space for community members to come together, grow their own fruit and veg and share skills."