Sunday, 28 May 2017

Volunteers transform path to village church with planting

Volunteers transform path to village church with planting

A NEW Whitchurch community group is renovating a footpath leading to the village church.

Make Our Whitchurch Special has planted about 100 spring bulbs along the verges of the lane between High Street and St Mary’s.

The volunteers have also built two raised beds on one side of the path and planted them with a mix of fatsias, hellebores, geraniums and assorted grasses, which were donated by Alex Buhagiar, of Goring’s Greenfingers gardening club. They hope to install two more beds on the other side.

The group was started at the end of last year by villager Leslie Meynerd because she didn’t like the poor state of the area so she approached landowner Sally Howard, who allowed the work to be done.

Mrs Howard also joined the group along with Geoff Weir, secretary of the Whitchurch Bridge Company, Sally Woolhouse, of the Whitchurch Habitat Study Group, and villager Andy Heaps.

Mrs Maynerd, a complementary therapist, who lives in High Street with her husband Dave, said: “I’d thought the area by the church looked dreadful ever since I moved here two years ago and I finally decided to do something about it.

“It was full of weeds and I didn’t think it was very fitting for a beautiful rural village like Whitchurch.

“I’m really pleased with how we’ve done so far, although we could do with more volunteers.

“My husband has been very good — he didn’t want anything to do with it initially but we needed his help as an engineer to plan the dimensions of the raised beds.

“I feel immensely proud to have had an idea like this and seen it through to fruition. It has made a massive difference and we had lots of positive, encouraging comments from passers-by when we were doing our planting, which was lovely.

“Some people have suggested that we could enter Britain in Bloom but that would take a lot more effort and assistance. It’s a nice idea but I think it’s a bit premature at this stage.” The group also hopes to tackle an overgrown patch of land near the former Polish chapel in Manor Road, carry out further improvements at St Mary’s churchyard and plant hanging baskets or troughs at the Greyhound pub in High Street.

It is supported by the parish council, which provided a £500 grant while the Whitchurch Society donated £50.

Parish council chairman Keith Brooks said: “The display will be a credit to the village and a demonstration of how residents give up their spare time to keep Whitchurch a wonderful place to live.

“On behalf of the village, we thank those who put themselves out to do this good work.”

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