Witney green space gets new lease of life

A volunteer helping to plant within the garden.

A green space in Witney has received a new lease of life thanks to a group of green-fingered volunteers keen to make a difference to the local community.

With support from Sanctuary Housing, volunteers from Oxfordshire-based Guideposts and Marks & Spencer have been getting their hands dirty to create a wellbeing garden for local residents to enjoy.

The group of volunteers have planted a mixture of apple and pear trees, lavender plants and evergreens, and installed a pathway and raised beds to grow salad, vegetables, herbs and strawberries.

It is hoped that the new garden will encourage local residents to get involved in its maintenance, adding to it and taking ownership of it into the future, as well as using some of the food they grow.

Kate Winstanley, Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, said: “We are always looking to invest in our communities and aim to make our neighbourhoods greener and cleaner places for our residents to live.

“We’re grateful for the help from Guideposts and M&S in transforming the space and hope residents will be able to enjoy it, whether that’s a picnic alongside the raised beds or watching their children playing.”

Volunteers planting a tree together

Kelly Gough, community opportunities manager at Guideposts, added: “We were very excited to be asked by Sanctuary Housing to design and co-ordinate this event. We were fortunate that the Witney Marks & Spencer store also offered to support as part of their national “Spark Something Good” campaign, providing us with a large team of volunteers and funding towards the project.

“The project was designed to give local residents the opportunity to experience how wonderful it can be to get close to nature, grow and eat fresh produce. We hope that the community thoroughly enjoy their garden long into the future.”

Guideposts’ Dig ‘n’ Grow project run specialised gardening sessions in a peaceful setting located in Witney that is open to adults of all ages who are living with learning difficulties or dementia. Separate sessions are available for each group in order to meet specific needs. If you are interested, or if you just want to come for a taster session, the first session is free. Please contact Kelly Gough on 01993 893560 or kgough@guideposts.org.uk for more information. Alternatively, please visit guideposts.org.uk.