Blooming success for community garden after years of work

Barnsley could get its first '˜Playing Out Order' to restrict traffic on a street this summer if a group responsible for a new community garden are successful with an application to the council.

Tuesday, 29th May 2018, 12:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th May 2018, 1:02 pm
Transforming: Royds community garden is emerging from a disused patch of ground in Millhouse Green. Coun Dave Griffin and resident Helen Townsend have been working for years to ensure success.

The Temporary Play Street Order originates from a scheme in Bristol and allows a street to be closed to traffic for up to three hours, with vehicle movements restricted to an access only basis and could be used for an event at the Royds community garden in Millhouse Green, which is slowly being created from a patch of redundant land.

It is around two years since Coun Dave Griffin began work with volunteers in the area to secure the site, which was under the management of Berneslai Homes, the body which operates Barnsley Council’s social housing.

Without that intervention, the site could have been sold for development, but its potential as a community facility in an area few public areas was recognised.

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Work on transforming the land, off New Royd, started last year and has been backed with an investment of £2,000 from the Penistone Ward Alliance, a body made up of councillors and others with a strong community involvement, which has a budget of council cash to spend.

That has been backed with donations, including 20 apple and pear trees which have been planted to make the district’s largest community orchard on the site.

Other work has involved installing planters, creating a large planted bed and installing a path, with more to follow including further pathwork and hopefully a structure to provide shade when the sun is out.

Coun Griffin said: “Millhouse Green doesn’t have much public land so it is lovely that we have been able to save this from development.

“It is a community garden where people can picnic and we have already planned a ‘picnic in the park’.

“I am hoping this will have our first ‘playing out order’. It was devised by a couple of women in Bristol who wanted a car free area. Hopefully we will get one as it makes the area much safer for children to run around and have a good time.”

Helen Townsend is chairman of both Millhouse Green community association, which was involved in the early work to get the scheme up and running, and also of the group directly responsible for the garden.

She said they had benefited from the support of individuals and companies, through donations to help the project progress, but were now trying to secure additional funding to help with further work, including the creation of a wildlife area.