Wellington Parade Garden set to bloom

A community garden in Kingsholm has reopened after the previously unloved patch of land was given a new lease of life.

The area known locally as 'The Rose Garden' on the corner of London Road and Great Western Road, has been completely revamped and is set to become an attractive place for residents and commuters into the city.

Residents were involved in the design of the community garden and will be given opportunities to get involved in volunteering.

The Wellington Parade Garden will be maintained by service users from local charity, Emerging Futures, which works with people in rehabilitation from alcohol or drugs who are working to change their lives and become active members of the community.

The project has been funded by Gloucester City Council after councillors decided to ring fence some money for community gardens in the city.

Councillor Raymond Padilla, Cabinet member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said: “I’m delighted to see this community garden reopen and offer a space for both residents and service users to enjoy. Our green spaces are important for our health and wellbeing and I am pleased this will be a place for the community to come together and get involved in the local environment.”

James Lock, Housing Manager at Emerging Futures, said: “The ongoing upkeep by volunteers and our service users has created a therapeutic activity that has helped improve belonging and has taught many of them, new and invaluable skills. Projects like this help us to support our service users reintegrate and engage with communities they may have disassociated from.”

Robert Wolstenholme, Service User, said: “We’re really enjoying the chance to do some physical and useful work in the open air. Getting a bit of responsibility and a sense of achievement is really helping people’s recovery from some difficult times. Working right by the footpath means it’s also a great chance to meet other locals and get to know people.”

Councillor Jeremy Hilton, ward councillor, said: “The garden has been created to become an attractive focal point on London Road. A comprehensive public consultation was done to approve the landscape architect’s new garden plan. The footpath has been laid out to encourage people to walk through the garden and the prickly shrubs should stop groups congregating. There is still much gardening work to be done by the volunteers from Emerging Futures to get the new plants established.”