Plea for help with Bowthorpe Community Garden

They have transformed a weed-addled wasteland into a leafy spot bursting with all the sights, sound and smells of nature- but now a Bowthorpe group are appealing for help to keep their paradise perfect.

Over recent years, the area's heritage group have helped turn a patch of land off Tolye Road in Three Score into a much-loved community garden with everything from a history wall through to a sensory garden.

However, after a recent doubling in the garden's size following a �50,000 grant its members are hoping others will help them take care of the space.

Veronica Taylor is vice chairman of the Bowthorpe Heritage Group and described the opening day of the newly extended garden in June- made possible by The Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces scheme- as an important moment.

She said: 'We had really worked hard to get to that point but it was lovely to see it all, and it's great when you see people enjoying it.'

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The money was invested into pergolas, a bog garden and native fruit trees among other things, helping transform the space further but also meaning it requires more TLC than ever.

'Now we're really getting pleasure from it and we hope to get more in the future but we really need more people to join us,' she said.

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'There are still areas that need improving and we've had trouble with thistles this year so we've spent a lot of time weeding, and you do get them popping up overnight if you're not careful.'

Mrs Taylor, 61, said that they received regular help from youngsters, and in the August from volunteers from a national church group staying temporarily in the area. However, she added they needed more help if any future plans to weed out a new area and make the space a hub for community get-togethers were to become a reality.

The volunteers meet every other Sunday to maintain the site between 2 and 4pm. Madge Roberts is treasurer for the group, which won eco-community group of the year at the 2011 Norwich Eco-Awards. The 68-year-old said: 'It's a struggle to be honest, there's up to ten of us and maintaining a garden isn't easy. We're not asking people to do a lot, just what they can, and we'll provide the tools.' she said.

•Interested? Contact Madge Roberts on 01603 734767.

•Are you working to improve your area? Contact Reporter John Owens on 01603 772439.

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