Whitby’s walled garden enhances wellbeing through nature

After celebrating their award – winning entries in the 2023 Photographic Competition, run by Two Ridings Community Foundation and Clare Granger, High Sheriff of North Yorkshire, the volunteers have £1,400 to spend on resources and equipment.

The Walled Garden volunteers were delighted to welcome the High Sheriff to Whitby in October last year and to show off the garden and describe their work and plans.

With over 90 entries, Walled Garden volunteer Christine Wilson’s photograph was awarded third prize winning £1,000 funding and volunteer Alice Stevens’ photograph was highly commended winning £400. Both volunteers attended the exhibition and presentation of prizes at Allerton Castle near Knaresborough and had the opportunity to showcase their work and the garden project.

The Walled Garden’s advisory group, made up of volunteers, have worked this winter on the three sections of the garden to benefit both humans and wildlife:

• The Wild Wood has been planted with saplings to promote a habitat for small mammals and insects with the addition of native trees: rowan, crab apple, hornbeam and alder buckthorn.

• The orchard has been mowed and yellow rattle sown on scarified areas to promote a wildflower meadow, trees have been pruned and paths cut through. Volunteers have learnt to build a dead hedge to promote wildlife. We now have 12 bird boxes across the site and are adding to bat boxes in the coming weeks, all build by our volunteers.

• The produce garden is being prepared for Spring planting with plans for a variety of fruit and vegetables, developing the herb garden and building new compost bins.

The Walled Garden is a long-term well-being project, run by Whitby Area Development Trust, and an opportunity for volunteers to meet regularly outdoors to learn gardening and conservation skills in partnership with both Whitby Naturalists’ Society and U3A Gardening Group.

This long – term project hopes to help people achieve a connection with nature to improve physical, emotional and social health.

Garden Co-ordinator, Effie Burns said:

‘Sharing experiences in the garden with like-minded people can give a real sense of having something in common to improve confidence. Enjoying the sensory experience is important, observing, touching and enjoying the scent enables us to gain an improved sense of well – being. We are dedicated and passionate about the health benefits the gardening and spending time in nature can bring.’

If you’re interested in volunteering, you can email info@whitbycoliseum.com or telephone 01947 825000.

Potential volunteers will be invited to an introductory event at the Coliseum Centre and then can apply to join the project. All welcome, from beginners to experienced gardeners and everyone in between.

Use of the garden is restricted to registered volunteers only and not open to the public. The Trust kindly asks people not to visit without prior permission.

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