While further down the path in the shade of semi-mature maple trees, tall leafy bracken fronds try to envelop the path with an almost tropical green lushness, atop the hill in Battery Gardens a trio of crisp-leafed hydrangea bushes sit rather forlornly alongside an area of dry brown lawn.
With sunhats on and water bottles in hand, the group of local residents that has met to chat about how they help with caring for the gardens are no less aware of the sun’s heat than the wilting plants around them.
Everyone is keen to work out how they can help this heritage-rich community space flourish once again, even if initial tasks are limited by the dry conditions at hand.
And so, discussions focus on what work the SWISCo parks and grounds maintenance team carry out, identifying tasks which are suitable for the group to take on themselves, and discussing activities that the wider community might want to lend a hand with.
Battery Gardens is not alone in needing extra help, there are innumerable parks and green spaces across the country where support, input, and practical assistance from the community makes a big difference to how sites are looked after.
Volunteer and ‘Friends of’ groups bring much needed additional time, care, and attention that grounds maintenance budgets cannot always stretch to, coupled with invaluable local knowledge and understanding of a site.
They are also able to tap into pockets of financial support that councils are often not eligible to apply for, helping fund additional resources that community green spaces might not otherwise benefit from.
This particular group are ready make a difference to Battery Gardens, starting with a community clean up task on Friday, August 12. Anyone wanting to lend a hand with the planned litter pick and ‘spring clean’ of the benches is welcome to come along between 9.30am and 11.30am, meeting at the ‘band stand’ near the seaward entrance on Fishcombe Road.
If you would like to get involved with caring for this or other green spaces in Torbay, please contact Hannah Worthington by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07747 616 075.
Written by Hannah Worthington, Torbay’s green space engagement officer for SWISCo
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