Budding gardeners come together to transform park

10 April 2019

Volunteers of all ages have been using the power of flowers to transform the entrance to a Newark park.

Budding gardeners from local Cub and Scout groups, the Holy Trinity Catholic Academy and Reach Learning Disability have brought to life their own planting designs at Sconce and Devon Park, on Boundary Road.

Guided by Newark and Sherwood District Council park rangers, each group was allocated a triangular shaped bed in which they could design the entire layout.

A group from Flower Pod - part of Reach Learning Disability, a charity that provides day centre care and support for people with learning disabilities – spent the afternoon planting different varieties of poppies, geraniums and verbenas in a pink, purple and yellow colour scheme.

Flower Pod brings together employees, volunteers and people with learning disabilities to produce and sell flowers, natural confetti, wreaths and other locally sourced products.

Jane Hufton, Flower Pod centre manager, said: “We love this kind of project – being part of the local community is really important and although we are based in Southwell, all the guys involved live in Newark and not many have the chance to garden.  It’s lovely to think they will be able to bring friends and family to Sconce to show them what they’ve been part of”.

The project was enjoyed by the whole group including members Stuart and Robin.

They said, respectively: “It’s great that we get to use our gardening skills somewhere else - now everyone can see what we do” and “We have used plants that you can find in the Flower Pod garden - they are good for bees and other pollinators."

Lavender, sage and rudbeckia are among the planting designs by a group of pupils from the next door Holy Trinity Catholic Academy. Sue Hayes, teaching assistant at the school said:  “The pupils have really enjoyed the whole process, from the initial designs, picking the plants and colour schemes and the planting session at the park. They can’t wait to see the results of their hard work once the plants come into life.”

A combination of white and purple aubretia, yellow creeping jenny and creeping thyme formed the Scout logo within the flowerbed designed by the 7th Newark Cubs & Scouts. In addition, the 6th Newark Cubs also continued the bright theme with a colourful creation of pink, red, yellow and blue echinacea, helenium and achillea plants.

Phil Beard, business manager for parks and amenities at the district council, said: “Our Cleaner, Safer and Greener campaign has certainly heightened awareness of our open spaces and we take great pride in our parks.

"This has been a great project that’s giving local groups and organisations the opportunity to get involved in the local community. We are delighted that all the groups enjoyed turning their visions for the flower beds into reality and we look forward to seeing the finished results.” 

The park is home to a variety of habitats including riverside, pastures, woodlands, grasslands and an orchard, as well as some rare plant species including flowering rush with its cup-shaped, pink flowers that appear around wetland habitats.

In addition, it is already rich in a variety of plant life from tall oaks to small herbs and grasses, attracting wildlife including butterflies, dragonflies, kingfishers, swans and thrushes.

Last year, the park was presented a Green Flag Award for the 10th time, which rewards well maintained parks and green spaces.

Green Flag parks set a benchmark standard for recreational outdoor spaces across the country and the award recognises good management and the hard work of staff and volunteers in maintaining spaces that meet the needs of the local community.

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