Mayor opens new community garden

A new community garden growing fresh produce in Chichester has been opened by the mayor this week.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 3:28 pm

Councillor John Hughes opened the project at Swanfield Park on Monday.

With the help of facilities management service Just Ask and local community volunteers, the garden was prepared before Monday’s official handover to the Swanfield Park Residents Neighbourhood Group (SPRING). The idea was formed in May by housing association A2Dominion.

Mr Hughes said: “The community garden is a wonderful example of people coming together to make a difference in Swanfield.

Mayor of Chichester John Hughes and Sussex cricket foundation Coaches at a cricket match to mark opening of a new community garden at Swanfield Community Centre in Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2108091 SUS-210908-170450001

“It’s lovely to see people of all ages learning about gardening and enjoying being outside in the fresh air.

“A2Dominion and SPRING have worked together to produce a great community asset that the people of Swanfield can enjoy for many years to come.”

Gerry Lavelle, resident of Swanfield Park, SPRING committee member and community volunteer, helped plant some of the vegetables back in June.

He added: “I can honestly say I’ve never tasted anything so good as the fresh lettuces.

Mayor of Chichester John Hughes and his wife Cllr Cherry Hughes open new community garden at Swanfield Community Centre in Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2108091 SUS-210908-170427001

“We’ve had local families and children help with the planting and the garden has a lovely sense of community about it. It’s educational and has given the local area a great lift. I’m now looking forward to the beetroot coming through and trying even more of the delicious veg.”

The garden contains a mix of herbs, vegetables (spring onions, cauliflowers, carrots, pumpkins, runner beans, tomatoes) and sunflowers, which have been carefully nurtured by volunteers throughout the summer. These volunteers included the Mayoress of Chichester, Cherry Hughes.

The garden will now be regularly maintained by the SPRING volunteers, who will bring much of the fresh produce to the coffee club events at the Swanfield Park Community Centre.

As part of the opening event, A2Dominion also provided a free lunch to local residents and arranged a cricket match with afternoon tea for local youngsters, in partnership with Sussex Cricket Foundation.

Mayor of Chichester John Hughes and his wife Cllr Cherry Hughes open new community garden at Swanfield Community Centre in Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2108091 SUS-210908-170512001
Mayor of Chichester John Hughes and his wife Cllr Cherry Hughes open new community garden at Swanfield Community Centre in Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2108091 SUS-210908-170438001
Mayor of Chichester John Hughes and his wife Cllr Cherry Hughes open new community garden at Swanfield Community Centre in Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2108091 SUS-210908-170416001
Mayor of Chichester John Hughes and Sussex cricket foundation Coaches at a cricket match to mark opening of a new community garden at Swanfield Community Centre in Chichester. Pic S Robards SR2108091 SUS-210908-170501001