Glendale helps judge community garden competition

Specialists from green services provider Glendale have helped judge a communal gardening competition in partnership with Home Group.

The competition, jointly funded by Home Group and Northumbrian Water, invited local residents to design a communal garden on an old demolition site owned and managed by the housing association.

A team of judges from the three organisations, including Glendale’s contract manager David Fontana and a local councillor, shortlisted the seven garden designs submitted by members of the local community.  Three shortlisted entries were then sent out to the public for final judging.

The designs were assessed on a variety of criteria including accessibility, visual appeal, biodiversity and consideration of drainage on site.

The winning design, created by Mr Alfie Elrington from Deckham, is now being implemented on the 450 square metre site in Deckham, known as Chelsea Gardens.

David Fontana, contract manager, comments: “We’re delighted to be able to support this great community initiative that brings people together and improves open spaces, two things Glendale is very passionate about.

“The aim of this competition was to regenerate a neglected space into a communal garden that residents can enjoy.  Community gardens provide the perfect place to relax and embrace the outdoors.  Having a green space like this right on the doorstep is going to make such a difference to the health and wellbeing of the local residents here in Deckham.”

Glendale enrolled the help of John Nuttall, head of landscaping from the organisation’s sister company, Parkwood Consultancy Services, in order to provide specialist guidance in the design and implementation of the scheme.  The green service specialist provided advice on plant species selection and a suitable maintenance plan to ensure the scheme establishes successfully.

Works commenced on site at the beginning of March 2016 and include a mixture of small civils and soft landscaping.  A path is being created leading visitors through the garden and the entire scheme will be enclosed by a mixed hedgerow and cherry trees.  The works are being completed by a local contractor and operatives from Glendale.

David continues:  “The site itself is quite waterlogged so a swale is being excavated in order to provide drainage, and a false bridge will be installed across this.  The garden will be finished off with a sculpture which is being created by the local community with support from a local artist, Graeme Hopper. This will provide a central focal point to the garden.”

Mike Ciaraldi, project manager from Northumbrian Water, comments: “The community garden has evolved into a project that has helped bring together people of all ages and experiences in Deckham.  We were really pleased with Alfie’s overall final design and with the addition of a few ideas from Carrhill School pupils and Graeme Hopper’s eye-catching art, I’m certain this garden is something that will be looked after and treasured by residents for years to come.”

Chelsea Gardens will be officially unveiled to the public in June 2016 and Glendale will continue to maintain the site as part of the portfolio of services they provide to Home Group residents.

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