Celebrating £18,500 makeover of Longridge's Towneley community garden

It was time for celebrations when the revamped Longridge Towneley Community Garden was officially opened by not one, but two mayors.

The official opening of the re-vamped Towneley community garden in Longridge
The official opening of the re-vamped Towneley community garden in Longridge

The mayor of Longridge Coun Paul Byrne and Ribble Valley mayor Coun Stuart Carefoot did the honours, marking the compeltion of an £18,500 project.

Town residents and visitors can now enjoy taking time out or a picnic at four new eight-seater picnic tables, delight in a raised bed scented sensory garden and learn more about the history of the park, which is situated off Berry Lane, from new information boards.

Organisers from the Garden's working party say the project has brought members of the community together with a common aim - to make a positive impact on the lives of residents.

VIP guests with the new information panel for Towneley Community Garden

It has been a two and a half year project, backed by funding from five sources - the Tesco Bags of Help scheme, Longridge Town Council, CLOG funding – support for people with dementia, the Duchy of Lancaster and Longridge and North Preston Rotary Club.

Volunteers from the town council, the Longridge Community Gym, the Longridge Heritage Trust and Longridge and North Preston Rotary have all been involved, as have local businesses.

Angie Harrison, co-manager of the town’s Community Gym and working party lead member, said: “The opening was a celebration of the two and a half years of work completing and we wanted everyone who had supported the project to come along and celebrate with us. We want to thank the working party for all their efforts.”

Now visitors can access the gardens from the town’s main street, Berry Lane, under a distinctive custom made archway which references the history of Longridge ,including its mill heritage.

The entrance to the gardens has been widened to make it more inviting.

Other work has included:

• Planting of seasonal bulbs with the help of local primary school pupils

• The development of a photographic record featuring the wildlife and biodiversity of the gardens which now features on a large noticeboard

• The re-development of a Longridge heritage trail

• The development of a measured mile loop in the gardens

• The raised bed, planted with a variety of flowers, plants and herbs for visual and sensory stimulation, has been designed to be dementia friendly. It also features Longridge stone.

• The garden will be visited by judges from Britain in Bloom on July 3.