THE restoration of a Victorian garden is providing a host of opportunities for older people in Hyndburn.

Age Concern Hyndburn has been working on a project to restore the garden at Clayton Hall, Clayton-le-Moors, for several years.

Several older people hold allotments at the site and have the use of a polytunnel to help with their growing and new initiatives based on the restoration project are being launched all the time.

Patrick Collister, Age Concern's chief officer, said the charity was currently negotiating with a qualified horticulturalist on the possibility of providing NVQ training from the site. "This will provide educational and vocational opportunities for unemployed people and will enable us to maintain the site,' he said.

"We are also currently considering the possibility of utilising the garden for the growth of organic produce. This should prove to be a popular and ecologically sound development which could become a very worthwhile long-term feature of the project, as organically grown vegetables are always in great demand."

Several groups have visited the site during the year for a guided tour, highlighting the historical features of the area. Age Concern Hyndburn has entered the scheme for the Lancashire Evening Telegraph's Grimewatch awards, run in association with the Tidy Britain Group, Groundwork, British Aerospace and the Environment Agency.

Grimewatch rewards all kinds of green projects and is open to schools, community groups, businesses, local authorities and individuals.

If you would like details of how to enter, contact the Grimewatch line on 01254 678678 ext 244, send an e-mail to, or send a fax to 01254 680429.

The closing date for entries is December 10.

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