Aylsham community garden wins award

A community garden in Aylsham which was created from a neglected children's play area has won an award.

A community garden in Aylsham which was created from a neglected children's play area has won an award.

Green Lanes Community Garden in Aylsham is the 2010 winner of the Broadland 'Green Award.'

The award, given out by Broadland District Council, is only made every two years and honours the best green space project.

The garden, which includes a wheelchair friendly route to the town centre and community notice board, was the work of Green Lanes Community Group working in partnership with Aylsham Care Trust (ACT), Widening Adults Participation Action Fund (WAPAF) and Aylsham Town Council.

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Chairman of the community group, David Gibson, has been working on the project with colleagues since it started nearly six years ago, with leaflets through doors from the Aylsham Care Trust and the town council asking what local people wanted to do with the land.

A keen gardener, Mr Gibson drew up some plans and the dozen or so people at the first meeting called by ACT, chose to form a group and put them into practice.

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Mr Gibson said: 'I went door knocking on the estate in the early days to see if people would like to donate plants. We ended up with about 10 wheelbarrows full.'

Since then, the group has created a brick weave path to help residents take the shortcut into town, planted raised beds, created and screened a compost area and installed benches.

Joint second place were new allotments at Taverham, created in response to local demand, and Suters Drive in Drayton, a rough piece of land with an overgrown pond transformed by a partnership of the Norwich Fringe Project, Draituna Trees - who are a group of local volunteers - and Broadland District Council's Street Scene team.

Broadland District Councillor Shaun Vincent, chairman of the judging panel, said: 'This award recognises the huge amount of hard work and enthusiasm residents have contributed to make their own communities such great places.'

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