Lurgan allotments praised for their hard work and community commitment as they were presented with plaque and £2,000 funding
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The National Garden Scheme award is a prestigious one with hundreds of applications. Taghnevan Allotments secretary Marie Cullen said she and the committee and all those involved in the allotments were ‘delighted’.
Taghnevan allotments only started almost eight years ago and has become a flourishing and happy pastime for many locals in the area. Marie explained that it had been set up originally with the help of St Paul’s GAA Club and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council. Land beside St Paul’s GAA playing fields was set aside for the allotment.
The allotment which now boasts a number of high raised beds growing all sorts of fruit and vegetables from potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beetroot and much more. Plus they have a poly tunnel where many grow tomatoes. They also have a new rose garden area which they hope to develop.
These forward thinking growers have also a space sectioned off for composting so nothing goes to waste but can be transformed into good nutritious soil for next year’s growing.
Mrs Cullen pointed out that the gardens were a great source of comfort during the COVID-19 pandemic and a place were local residents to come to relax while social distancing during that time.
She praised everyone who was involved in the allotments, particularly Tony Chambers, Paul Daly, Malachy Cullen, and many others who put in a lot of hard work around the allotment.
The National Garden Scheme award was set up in memory of Elspeth Thompson, a garden writer and journalist and supporter of the National Garden Scheme, who died in 2010. It is for gardening projects carried out within local communities all over England, NI and Wales.
The funding is for the creation of a garden or similar project such as an allotment with horticultural focus for the benefit of the local community. The project should aim to bring a community together by creating a space people can share, by the acquisition and sharing of gardening knowledge and skills and by inspiring a love of gardening.
The funding should cover expenses such as site preparation (including hire of small mechanical tools such as rotavators), hand tools, plants, trees, shrubs, containers and seating.
Sinn Fein Cllr Mary O’Dowd said: “I was so honoured to be invited today to Taghnevan Community Allotments with Deputy Mayor Cllr Sorchá Mc Geown and John O'Dowd MLA. They were awarded with a plaque from The National Garden Association for all their hard work in everything they have done for the whole community. Everyone is so proud of the committee for achieving this.”
The National Garden Scheme organises the opening of beautiful gardens in aid of charity - raising much needed funds for charities with their core core beneficiaries Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute. They also are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens too and support charities doing amazing work in gardens and health as well as grant bursaries to help community gardening projects.