Free outdoor event to celebrate community gardens

The council-run event will celebrate National Allotment Week.

Free outdoor event to celebrate community gardens

Chair of the Council, Councillor Paul McLean is pictured with Angela Lagan from St Mary’s Church Maghera, which was allocated a raised bed in the Walled Garden, Maghera.

A local council is to celebrate all that is good about community gardening by holding a free event next month.

To celebrate this year’s National Allotments Week (9 – 15 August), Mid Ulster District Council is holding an outdoor community gardening event on Wednesday August 11 at Maghera Walled Garden.

The event, which is organised in conjunction with The Conservation Volunteers, is free to attend and will promote environmentally friendly gardening and encourage gardeners’ to start growing fruit and veg in a climate friendly manner.

The theme for this year is ‘plotting for the future’ to celebrate the contribution of allotments to a sustainable future.

On the day participants will be guided in small groups around a number of information stalls to :

·         Hear tips and advice on climate friendly gardening

·         Exchange ideas with fellow gardeners

·         Learn to sow some late summer salad crops

·         Find out how to attract pollinators into the garden and gather ideas for simple bee and bug homes

·         Experience and get inspired by the beautiful Walled Garden.

The event is mainly targeted at members of local allotments and community gardening groups but there are also places available for interested residents in Mid Ulster.

To ensure social distancing is adhered to, three different sessions will take place on the day; late morning session, 11am - 12.30pm; mid-day session, 1pm - 2.30pm and the afternoon session, 3pm - 4.30pm.

Chair of the Council, Councillor Paul McLean said,

“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a huge increase in home gardening. More people than ever are growing their own fresh fruit and vegetables, which can have an extremely positive effect on overall health and wellbeing.

“With this event, we are hoping to develop this awareness even further and demonstrate how we can all garden in an environmentally friendly way, using less plastic, going peat-free, avoiding chemicals whenever possible, and garden more wildlife friendly to attract beneficial pollinators such as bees and butterflies to our gardens.

“Places are going to book up fast so I would encourage anyone interested to apply now before it’s too late.”

Jenny McGetrick, Senior Project Officer with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) added: “TCV have been working in partnership with Mid Ulster District Council for many years to provide practical support for local allotments and community gardening groups in the area.

“We are delighted to be present at the forthcoming event with plenty of useful information, advice and growing tips on late summer sowing which will help vegetable gardeners to extend their growing season and make best use of available resources in their gardens, backyards or window sills.”

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