How can a community that’s often on the move enjoy the many benefits of gardening together? It’s a question the Royal Horticultural Society community outreach team in Yorkshire is working on with the 6 Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps.
They’re trying to find a way to create portable community gardens. If successful, it could provide a model to be used elsewhere. It could give our armed forces and their families the same opportunity as other communities to garden together – to learn new skills while tackling issues such as stress, loneliness and isolation.
The catalyst for the project was the 6 Regiment’s move to Yorkshire from Germany last year. As the regiment’s chaplain, James Harding, points out, ‘There wasn’t a central area at our new Dishforth barracks for our memorials, or a place to remember those who have died.’
A memorial garden was the ideal solution. Peter Cunliffe of Northumbrian Landscaping has produced a beautiful design with a difference. If 6 RLC finds itself on the move again, the major elements of the garden can go too.
As the concept for the memorial garden developed, so the project began to grow into something much bigger than originally intended. It became increasingly important to find a way in which the whole of the Dishforth community – both within the barracks and beyond - could benefit from its development.
In February, with the help of the RHS team, a group of volunteers from the families of 6 Regiment formed an ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ community gardening group. Not only would the group bring people together, it would also ‘green’ their local area as part of the RHS Greening Grey Britain campaign.
A series of on-site workshops has already begun. Using wooden pallets constructed and decorated in a variety of ways, the group will grow the plants they’re learning to propagate. It’s an attractive but low cost method of planting that is also easy to transport. They’ll have a green place for people and wildlife wherever they are.
Of course, the children of 6 Regiment are also involved. Together with pupils from six schools in the surrounding area, they’re taking part in ‘Boot Camp - creating mini gardens in 1000 old army boots. What could be more appropriate for a community on the move?
Supplied with boots, compost, seeds and a Dishforth Memorial Garden fundraising sponsor form, the children will be competing to win the best planted boot. Look out for the prize-winning boots on display at Harlow Carr Flower Show, 23rd- 25th June.
Follow the project’s progress:
Twitter - @6rlcGardenproj - #GreeningGreyBritain - #6rlcBootcamp
Just giving link - https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/6RLC-Memorial-garden
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