Pearson Park Community Garden off Beverley Road is making a difference by bringing people together to grow fruit and vegetables.
The former derelict garden has been transformed as part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund with a £3m grant for the restoration.
Andrew Wilson, Streetcare and Open Spaces Strategic Manager for Hull City Council, said:
“The garden initially started as part of the Heritage lottery Fund, restoration of the park in full.
“East Lodge here, connected to it was a derelict garden and as part of the plans was to develop that as a community space, so that people could come and learn how to garden, take part, and possibly grow plants not only for the community but for the park. So, that’s how it started.
“It’s been transformed basically. It was literally overgrown, you couldn’t see it for large overgrown shrubs, so the size of the site wasn’t really known. When we looked at it on the plan it seemed too small for a community garden.
“But now that it has been cleared, as you can see, it is a large space which is very accessible. We have raised beds, graveled paths so that abilities of all ages can get onto the site and use it. So, it has been a great asset.
“Oh certainly, and if it wasn’t for the volunteers that manage it, it wouldn’t be in the shape or form that it is today. The bare bones were provided by the lottery– the fixtures and fittings – but keeping it going, and it is increasing from year to year, all down to volunteers.”
Stacie Bentley, former volunteer, and apprentice at the Pearson Park Community Garden, said:
“I am very proud of how far the Community Garden has come since we started. This is our third summer, and it is proving really, really popular.
“Some people just come for a cup of tea and a biscuit and others come to help garden and escape for the day, I think.
“The garden really does help with people’s mental health. I have been fortunate enough to have been told that it does help with people’s mental health and that they do feel better after being here.
“Plus, you have got the food as well that people can take home and eat, and it is all organic.
“We have got tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce – all the general, normal stuff that people would grow on allotments or in their back garden – but, we also have cauliflower, sprouts, broccoli. There’s also swish chard and kale that a lot of people haven’t really tried, so that is a great thing.
“We try and make sure that we grow things for meals. We will grow potatoes, parsnips and carrots for roast dinners.
“It’s really rewarding seeing what you have grown and being able to use it and have your children involved. It is a space for families, and I do try to encourage that. Kids do love it; they really do love getting involved.
“My hopes for the community garden is to continue growing with the success it has been growing with. Getting more people involved, benefitting the community. To put food on peoples plates, to help people learn that they can this at home, like windowsill gardening.
“It is just being with the community and providing for it.”
For more information about volunteering at the Community Garden, call 07925 361304 or email email@example.com