Bury St Edmunds man wants to set up community garden
A Bury St Edmunds man is looking to set up a community garden in town to ‘bring people close together’ and help rebuild a sense of companionship post-coronavirus.
Wesley Stanford, 33, hopes the garden could be a focal point for residents to meet and catch up whilst learning new gardening skills, and has approached the council to see about potential locations.
He first came up with the idea after speaking with his friend Dot, who has set up something similar in Oxford called OxGrow – a group of people who meet on Sundays and Wednesdays to work on growing vegetables and plants in their own community garden.
“It’s not just about the food, it’s about building community, it’s about reconnecting people to nature. It’s just about building community beyond the food growing side. Obviously that would be the exciting part, to come down and get your hands in the soil, and practice growing food if you haven’t done that before,” Wesley said.
Wesley is currently working with a few other residents to find a spot where they might be able to set up their garden, and he has a few places in mind - two being inside or just by the Abbey Gardens, and the other two possibly in Nowton Park or Hardwick Heath.
He wants the spot to be as accessible as possible hence why ideally it would be near Bury town centre.
He said: “The whole point of the community garden is that it doesn’t only bring the people that are already in to that sort of stuff, it includes everyone, and it being central I think is key, because then people that wouldn’t normally see that sort of thing are introduced to it.”
Wesley expects there would be a ‘core’ group that would run the garden and keep it tidy, but it would be welcoming to all types of people.
He has a three-year-old daughter and wants to include her and other young people in the project, but also people of all ages who might want to pick up some new skills.
A West Suffolk Council spokesperson said: “This is early days but community gardens have worked well in other parts of the country and we are talking with Mr Stanford about how we can support him in turning his idea into a reality.”
More by this authorSam Walker
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