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Former tip site is blooming marvellous after huge regeneration effort

PUBLISHED: 10:25 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:25 07 June 2019

Birch saplings having just been planted in 2013 at the site of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Melanie Carr

Birch saplings having just been planted in 2013 at the site of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Melanie Carr

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It was once an unofficial village tip, but an area of open space is back at the heart of the community after a five-year regeneration effort.

Owner Melanie Carr at the site of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Sheila Foster-HancockOwner Melanie Carr at the site of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Sheila Foster-Hancock

And now the land at Woodland Wander on School Road in Swannington will go on show as part of a Swannington in Bloom event on June 30.

The space was originally a small parcel of woodland belonging to the manorial estate, and Melanie Carr bought it at auction in 2011.

Ms Carr said: "I started out viewing this as a 10-year project.

"Seven years in, I am really pleased with the results but there is still some way to go and it requires a great deal of work to maintain.

Rubbish in the woods in 2012 at the site of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Melanie CarrRubbish in the woods in 2012 at the site of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Melanie Carr

"Feedback from repeat visitors to Swannington in Bloom is lovely as they are always amazed by how much the site has changed from one visit to the next."

Ms Carr obtained a permit to fell from the Forestry Commission in early 2012 and the transformation began, with dozens of pines removed and a "huge" amount of rubbish was discovered.

Among the bits of trash that had been left there since the 1950s included car bonnets, bedsteads, three-piece suites, washing machines and fridges.

New trees including silver birches and willows were planted in 2013, and hedges, shrubs and flowers were also added.

Planting round marlpit this year at the site of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Laura Marfell-WilliamsPlanting round marlpit this year at the site of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Laura Marfell-Williams

To make planting easier, the pit was partially filled in autumn 2017 to lessen the gradient of the slopes and the banked sides are now filled with flowering plants as well as small shrubs and strawberries. The base of the pit is now being cultivated as a grassed area with wildflowers.

As well as 10 open gardens, Swannington in Bloom includes three classic car displays, food and drink on the common from local suppliers including Swannington Farm to Fork, All Day Brewing Company and Lickety Ice, teas in a number of gardens and in the church, and children's activities at the play area. Proceeds from the event will be split between redevelopment of the play area and upkeep of the Grade-I listed church.

The event takes place from 10am to 5pm, entry is £5 per person.

A birch stand at the site of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Sheila Foster-HancockA birch stand at the site of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Sheila Foster-Hancock

Planting round marlpit in 2015, as part of the regeneration of the site of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Jeremy SmithPlanting round marlpit in 2015, as part of the regeneration of the site of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Jeremy Smith

Birch saplings in 2013, they were planted at the stie of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Melanie CarrBirch saplings in 2013, they were planted at the stie of the unofficial village tip in Swannington. Picture: Melanie Carr

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