A community garden project in Derry’s Fountain estate has claimed a prestigious accolade.
The Bastion Community Allotment was named the winner of the My Chelsea Community Garden Competition live on BBC’s The One Show on Wednesday night.
The horticultural competition is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
The community garden was the brainchild of Jeanette Warke, who is the project manager at the Cathedral Youth Club.
Ms Warke decided to utilise an empty space in the Cityside over 10 years ago to help local people grow their own produce.
“There was not a piece here, it was a complete waste ground just lying here gathering rubbish before,” Ms Warke said.
“I brought the community on board and my vision was to grow good food produce that they (the local community) would not have been able to grow themselves as they don’t have the room in their own gardens.”
The garden, which is located beside Derry’s Walls, is tended to by volunteers from throughout the Fountain estate.
“The people love it and whenever the produce is ready they come and pick what they like,” said garden volunteer and healthcare worker Ryan Sherrard.
Ms Warke and her team were told a film crew from The One Show was in Derry to film the story behind their garden after they were shortlisted for the award, but in actual fact were there to name them as winners.
She said she was “over the moon” for their garden to have won and thanked the numerous volunteers for helping to transform a derelict space into a garden for the whole community.
“Everybody has worked so hard and I am so proud of them, I just wanted to give something back to this lovely community,” said Ms Warke.
“I just can’t believe it, I can’t believe we have actually won it and I just want to thank everyone,” she added.
Among those to congratulate Ms Warke and her team were Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell and garden writer and broadcaster, Monty Don.Tags: