News-Antique.com - Oct 06,2010 - Amdega is pleased to announce the official opening of the Brandon Village Community Garden for use by the local community. The village garden committee is combining the opening with the presentation of Amdega’s gift to the Community Garden of a Retreat greenhouse; the first greenhouse the Darlington based conservatory company has built since the Victorian era.
The Brandon Village Community Garden will be officially opened by local MP Roberta Blackman-Woods at 6pm on Thursday 30th September 2010. In addition, to celebrate this event a free exhibition “Art in A Small Garden” with pieces from local established artists and graduates of Sunderland University will be open to the public all week.
The Retreat Amdega greenhouse donated by the Darlington based conservatory company will enable the garden to extend the growing season and raise tender fruit and vegetables. It will also provide a social space to sit when the weather is inclement.
The Community Garden, which has been created from a prominent derelict site with a fly tipping problem, aims to be a sustainable, environmentally friendly wildlife haven, vegetable garden and a meeting place where local people can pass on their knowledge and experience and get to know their neighbours better. The garden promotes biodiversity with a substantial area being given over to wildlife with a pond, bog, wild flower meadow, and a mixed native hedge. The pond has a small water feature running over a rock pile designed to increase the habitat for a wide range of insects, amphibians and hopefully encourage bats into the garden. The garden will have a range of flowers to attract bees, butterflies and other insects into the garden plus bird boxes and feeding stations to encourage garden birds. In contrast to the wildlife area, the vegetable garden has a formal structure of raised beds constructed from recycled plastics.
Over the past year, the village residents have worked hard to create the garden, helped by a County Durham Environmental Trust grant, (CDENT PREMIER Award of £14,800), sponsorship from local businesses and organisations, and support from Brandon and Byshottles Parish Council. With the guidance of dry stone walling expert, Peter Dent, the residents enjoyed building the south wall using traditional techniques, a wonderful teambuilding exercise.
The garden has no mains electricity or water, so rain runoff from the greenhouse roof is collected in underground storage tanks and then pumped out using energy generated by solar panels. These also run the greenhouse irrigation system, pond pumps and hopefully a few low energy lights. The garden also has various seating options, including space inside the new Amdega greenhouse to allow people to sit and enjoy the garden and wildlife. From the outset, the garden has aimed to be as inclusive as possible. Children are encouraged to get involved
and the area has been made accessible to all by incorporating raised vegetable beds, benches and wheelchair friendly paths.
The Garden Opening is just the beginning. Next year the village hopes to build a herb spiral, increase the number of nest