To celebrate the incredible community at Heyford Park, we have spoken to different community group leaders and asked them questions about the group/activity they run.
The Community Garden is an incredible asset to the community, providing a safe place where members of the community can take 5 minutes out of there day and reconnect with nature and try their hand at gardening if they wish. With plenty of seating, the community garden provides the perfect location to sit and watch the world go by. The Heyford Park community garden also holds many fund-raising events which are fun for all the family – including family fun days, BBQ’s, Easter Fun Days and spooky Halloween events. Sharon Keen the Community Garden team have driven what was once just an idea, into a successful reality, they have built something truly inspiring.
We asked Sharon Keen a few questions about the Heyford Park Community Garden…
How did the Heyford Park Community Start?
The garden all started back in 2014 when a few friends sat around a table and drew up plans which were submitted to Dorchester, who approved of the idea and offered us a parcel of land opposite the Community Centre and The Chapel.
What were you aiming to achieve with the Heyford Park Community Garden?
Today, as at the beginning, our aim has always been to bring the community together, offer gardening to those who want to learn or have experience but little or no garden of their own in which to plant things and see them grow. A place for fun, tranquillity, a meeting place for all. The first few times we appealed for community help/ volunteers; we were thrilled with the response from all ages.
We know the Community Garden is a brilliant way to bring the community together, please tell us a little bit more about some of the ways you do this?
Community engagement is at the heart of who we are, we teach children about wildlife and gardening, which is really important. Last year we showed children how to make seed bombs and what to do with them. We now grow food for The Pantry as well as our community and always welcome people of all ages and backgrounds to help out. So much fun, laughter and enjoyment are offered to all. Gardening is known to help those with mental health problems, without judgement we welcome them, so it is a good way to banish those blues, and it sure does.
There is plenty of seating for all to enjoy including a tree seat which Dorchester donated to us. A built in BBQ with patio seating for all to enjoy. Plus 4 raised beds filled with fruit and veg to pick as folks wander around the garden or sit under the trees during the hot spells in the Summer with friends and family and a bottle of wine, or a family picnic. The Community Garden is just what its name describes, a place for our community to relax and have fun.
What are some of your highlights with Heyford Park Community Garden?
We hold fund raising events such as Family Fun Days with BBQ’s Mini Fete’s, Easter Fun Days, and a spectacular Halloween event. All of which the whole community can come to and enjoy. There is a Fairy Garden for the little ones and not so little ones to enjoy.
Tell us a little bit more about the wildlife at Heyford Park Community Garden?
As part of the Heyford Park Community Garden we have created a wildlife area where we have a resident Hedgehog, nest boxes, bug and Bee hotels, all of which are enjoyed. It is lovely to just sit in the garden and listen and watch the birds. Robins come to visit to see if we have any juicy worms for them.