May 27, 2024

Vale View Gardens, in Royal Wootton Bassett, was previously an overgrown corner of New Road and Vale View.

Following discussions with Bassett’s Climate Emergency Group in late 2023, Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council decided that something had to change.

Ten weeks after work began, Vale View Gardens is now a community garden and outdoor classroom, complete with raised gardening beds, a wild pond, a sensory path and a bicycle hub with the capacity for 12 bikes.

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The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Vale View Gardens now offers a learning space, cycle hub and place to relax for local residents.Vale View Gardens now offers a learning space, cycle hub and place to relax for local residents. (Image: Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council)

The project has seen collaboration from residents, Wootton Bassett Infant School, Horizons College, Royal Wootton Bassett Environment Trust, Wootton Bassett Gardening Club and Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council.

Artist Marilyn Trew, drew the garden welcome sign while Andy Carr, a governor at the infant school, will now take on the role of garden steward.

“Over 400 hours of volunteer time was harnessed, with 23 tonnes of path gravel and over 300 metres squared of lawn turf being laid,” said a spokesperson for the town council.

The finished garden was officially unveiled to the public on Friday, May 3, by mayor Eve Silvester and twenty children from the council at the school.

Those attending the opening have been thrilled at the transformation, describing it as “such an improvement” and “just perfect for our community”.

“The transformation of this space was a brilliant community project which we absolutely loved being a part of,” said a spokesperson for Wiltshire Police’s neighbourhood team.

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Project manager, Andy Carr, added: “It’s great to be part of a real community coalition who have developed a shared vision of creating something visually appealing, environmentally sound, educational, and very enjoyable for the long term.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Vale View Gardens: before, during and after renovation.Vale View Gardens: before, during and after renovation. (Image: Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council/Newsquest)

The community garden has been funded through a grant by Wiltshire Council, as well as being supplemented by donations and discounts from supportive businesses.

Going forward, it will be taken care of by the town council’s grounds team who will be responsible for emptying the bin, mowing the lawn and general maintenance, as well as new steward Andy.

“This area will be of tremendous value to our community and demonstrates how working together can make a real difference. This will be a lasting legacy for our town,” said Royal Wootton Bassett Mayor, Eve Silvester.