Within a fortnight of Exeter St James Community Trust announcing its funding award from the Government’s Pocket Parks Programme, this precious green space in the heart of St James is already revealing marked signs of improvement.
The garden has been a hive of activity, come rain or shine, with a team of workmen ensuring that it is out with the signs of neglect, abuse and general dilapidation, as the first tangible signs of the community’s vision of a beautiful open space that will be the pride of the community have been laid.
Robyn Connett, coordinator of Exeter St James Forum’s Queen’s Crescent Garden Project Group, said: “A major boost came in the form of ‘in kind’ match-funding provided by green services provider, Glendale, that sent a great team to the garden, using its professional expertise over two days to carry out a thorough litter pick before clearing the overgrown shrubby vegetation around the perimeter, removing cover for anti-social activity, and finally shredding the green waste for use as valuable mulch in due course. The Trust is very grateful for this very generous contribution to the project.”
Mike Dennys, the senior estimator at Glendale, said: “Protecting green spaces is our bread and butter, so we were only too happy to get involved with this fantastic project. Gardens like this one can really create a sense of local pride, and we’re pleased to be helping restore a space which the community can feel proud of.”
Robyn added: “There is a real buzz in the air now that everyone can see real progress is being made. It is very exciting but we mustn’t get carried away; the task before us is immense and the current phase is necessarily limited in its scope. We are actively seeking match-funding determined that the restoration of the most dilapidated sections of the perimeter walls will be achieved this spring – we would like to keep the bricklayers on site for as long as it takes to complete the job, but we are prioritising certain parts to ensure the greatest impact.
“Our bricklayers are reusing all the old bricks and coping stones that have been found during the great clearance, but more will be required. If any readers have any old bricks of similar appearance, no matter how few or how many, that they would be willing to donate, please let us know!”
Source: Exeter St James Community Trust