‘Bug hotel and hedgehog houses’: Community garden launched to improve wellbeing of villagers

Hard working gardeners Rachel Robb, right, garden designer, and Liz Mould, parish councillor, in the

Hard working gardeners Rachel Robb, right, garden designer, and Liz Mould, parish councillor, in the East Harling community garden. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

A community garden to improve the mental health and wellbeing of villagers has sprung into life during lockdown.

Hard working gardeners Rachel Robb, right, garden designer, and Liz Mould, parish councillor, in the

Hard working gardeners Rachel Robb, right, garden designer, and Liz Mould, parish councillor, in the East Harling community garden. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Harling parish council, with the help of volunteers, have given a “wasted piece of land” a new purpose, as they have been working hard to create a space for the community and local wildlife to enjoy.

The idea came from council clerk, Kate Filby. She said: “Throughout lockdown gardening has really been helping people with their mental health. Back in the summer every was obsessed with their gardens.

“We have allotments here but my waiting list increased dramatically.

“So, I thought this is an opportunity for those people who can’t access a garden, and for people who need an escape from their surroundings, to socialise in a safe area.

Hard working gardeners Rachel Robb, right, garden designer, and Liz Mould, parish councillor, in the

Hard working gardeners Rachel Robb, right, garden designer, and Liz Mould, parish councillor, in the East Harling community garden. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020


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“The garden is right in the centre of the village, in a communal area, which I think will improve people’s mental health and help those who have been feeling isolated and living on their own.”

Parish councillor Liz Mould and local gardener, Rachel Robb, have been coordinating the project and so far, with help from the volunteers, they have created a bug hotel, hedgehog houses, herb garden and raised flower beds on land, located off Market street.

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Ms Filby added: “We put out a call for plants, seeds, bark chips and we have been inundated with donations, it has been wonderful.

“It’s an opportunity to create an area for the whole community to be part of – for them to be able to create something.

“Thank you to all those volunteers who have been involved and for everything they have done.”

Parish Councillor Liz Mould added: “It’s going to brighten up what was a very dull neglected corner at the entrance to the children’s play area.

“We had hoped to involve the children from the school and next year we have some ideas including a time capsule from 2020 and planting sunflower seeds.

“The main idea is to make it a nice area for people to come and go, take part, dig, plant and even take some herbs for their cooking.”

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