Luton community garden officially opened by Mayor - with tallest sunflower competition winners announced

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“We can come together to build, restore, and revive a strong community”

A new community garden has officially opened in Luton.

Grasmere Community Garden’s opening featured nature-themed activities, a scarecrow building competition, a ribbon hunt, wildlife craft, and an activity stall hosted by the Bedfordshire and Cambridge Wildlife Trust.

The event also featured prize giving for a nursery school sunflower competition. Councillors including Cllr David Franks, Cllr Ambia, and Cllr Miller attended the event and helped to give out awards to Warden Hills Primary, and runners-up Grasmere Nursery and Little Peoples Nursery.

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Luton's Mayor Mohammed Yaqub Hanif opened Grasmere Community GardenLuton's Mayor Mohammed Yaqub Hanif opened Grasmere Community Garden
Luton's Mayor Mohammed Yaqub Hanif opened Grasmere Community Garden

A spokesman for Little People’s Nursery said: “We absolutely loved our prizes – thank you so much. We will be using the gardening vouchers to buy some spring bulbs to plant in our plot at the community garden and will certainly be visiting regularly.”

Luton's mayor Mohammed Yaqub Hanif was also in attendance, and helped to officially open the community space.

He said: “The Grasmere community gardens was a joyful event. Here the local community came together to reclaim rough park space and turned into a community asset. With the help of grant awards, a tireless group of volunteers transformed the space into a picturesque landscape. Kids from the nearby nursery and primary school participated with the help of expert volunteers.

"The gardens also include a small wild nature trial which students from the nearby Cardinal Newman Catholic School will help and plant nearly a hundred trees. Community spaces like this are vital in bringing together people bringing more harmony between the various cultural communities that have made Luton their home. Also, these valuable spaces add value to the local landscape.”

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Grasmere Community Garden began in March, and the group hopes to develop it further. Bluebells and woodland bulbs will be planted over the coming weeks, and a bug hotel and bird feeders are in the pipeline.

Founder Angela Scarlett-Marshall, said “We came up with the concept after seeing the price of and shortage of produce post-Covid; we found out about the Community Garden in Stopsley and after visiting it, we felt we would like something similar within our local community.

“Our primary focus was to create a Community Garden for local people to grow flowers, vegetables, and fruit. We wanted to ensure the Garden was a safe space for local people to make new friends, deepen friendships and share experiences; enhance a sense of well-being within the community, whilst incorporating a wildlife habitat to encourage birds, pollinators, and insects."

She added: “We aim to encourage all ages within the local community to participate in gentle outdoor activities with a view to combating social isolation and where possible pursue a carbon-neutral footprint through limiting the use of travel by car/bus etc. All produce is freely available to our local community, and there are individuals without access to a garden of their own and others who whilst they have a garden are living alone following the loss of a partner or family member.

"The garden is here for each of us so that we can come together to build, restore, and revive a strong community post-Covid, let's use it.”

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