A charity is looking for volunteers to help renovate a garden after it received a share of £304,252 worth of government funding.

The garden, at the North Valley Community Centre in Colne, is one of four outdoor projects across Pendle to receive UK Shared Prosperity Fund support.

Over the past five years, the once-beautiful community garden has become forlorn and neglected, and now, thanks to the extra cash, Rosie Fenwick, from charity Newground Together wants to renovate the space and is looking for local volunteers to help.  

Lancashire Telegraph: The community garden in ColneThe community garden in Colne (Image: Newground Together)

Rosie explained that more than 10 years ago, resident of the Vivary Bridge and North Valley estate, Jim Smart, led the development of the garden at the community centre, but after he died in 2018, and following Covid, the garden was left to grow wild.

She said: “Jim was a real figurehead for the local community.

“With his wife and other volunteers, Jim created a wonderful space for local residents.

“Sadly, Jim passed away in November 2018 and Brenda, his wife died in June 2021. 

“Covid temporarily closed the community centre and, with no one taking the reins, the garden was left to go wild.

“My project is specifically geared towards getting people outside and encouraging them to become engaged with nature.

“That might be gardening and veg growing, but it might also be harvesting, learning how to make products out of the things that we grow, getting creative through natural arts and crafts or learning more about habitats and biodiversity.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Some of the team at Hagrid's Hut in the garden in ColneSome of the team at Hagrid's Hut in the garden in Colne (Image: Newground Together)

The garden is the flagship for the four projects, and has all the infrastructure in place for groups to meet and be comfortable, including a very cosy Hagrid’s Hut complete with wood-fired oven.

It is the first to launch, with a second project now also underway in partnership with the DEEN Centre in Brierfield.

Over the summer, Rosie ran several nature club sessions for families and now with autumn in full swing, she’s eager to spread the word and get more adults involved by experiencing the garden for themselves at upcoming open volunteer sessions.

Rosie added: “We’ve got a poly tunnel, veg growing areas and a lovely memorial garden.

“We’re now busy building raised beds. I would love to build a core group of volunteers who can bring their own ideas, develop their skills, take ownership of this place and help steer its direction for the future.

“The sense of wellbeing and peace that comes from connecting with nature is wonderful. Getting active is essential for good health and gardening helps you do that in a productive way.

"There’s also the happiness that comes from being outdoors, close to nature, knowing that you are helping the environment. This is a great way to meet new people and feel more connected to your local community.

“You don’t have to be an experienced gardener. You don’t have to be a Together Housing resident. You just need to live locally and want to help us bring this wonderful community garden back to life.”

The North Valley Community Centre exists for the benefit of all the residents of Vivary Bridge and the North Valley Estate.

The estate is part of the Together Housing Group, parent group to Newground Together, the charity working to empower people to create sustainable, connected, resilient, healthy and prosperous communities.

To get involved, get in touch with Rosie and the great outdoors team on 0300 330 5535 or email hello@newground.co.uk