Successful opening of community garden brings in funds to help secure future events

Success: Coun Dave Griffin, Helen Townsend and Bob Green, who all helped secure the future of Royds Community Garden lend a hand setting up stalls for the opening gala.
Success: Coun Dave Griffin, Helen Townsend and Bob Green, who all helped secure the future of Royds Community Garden lend a hand setting up stalls for the opening gala.
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Community spirit took hold for the opening of a new community garden created on land which would otherwise have ended up being sold off for housing development.

The Royds Community Garden in Millhouse Green, near Penistone, is now established as part of the village, with a team of volunteers looking to expand facilities on the plot, which already include new paths, planting beds, an orchard, picnic area and Incredible Edible growing areas, where food produce will be grown with an open invitation for locals to help themselves.

New Royd Avenue was closed to traffic for the opening gala under a ‘playground order’, the first of its type in the district, which allowed organisers to set up a hopscotch event in the carriageway.

The gala raised £400 for the Millhouse Green Community Association, which will help towards the cost of staging a ‘Christmas on the Green’ event in December and contribute towards a gazebo for the garden.

Coun Dave Griffin, who helped organise the transfer of the land from Barnsley Council’s housing management company Berneslai Homes, said: “It was a brilliant day, the weather was kind to us and we had a lot of people turn out, both from Millhouse Green but also beyond.”

Work on the garden has been financed through a small budget awarded as a grant from the Penistone Ward Alliance, which has its own budget of Barnsley Council cash to support community enterprises, as well as the work of volunteers.

Coun Griffin said the next project in the area was to try to improve a children’s playground in the immediate vicinity.

Consultation work is now taking place with neighbours and other residents to discover how they would like the site to be developed, but he said no proposals would be put forwards without support from those living in the immediate area.