Two groups of volunteer gardeners are now working on community garden projects at The Crichton, which will result in a new lease of life for the old Crichton nursery and greenhouse at The Crichton.
NEW VENUE FOR THE VETERANS GARDEN AND BREAKFAST CLUB
Following news that Carnsalloch House and Gardens at Kirkton is to be auctioned, a group of ex-service personnel were left searching for a new community gardening project. Thanks to support from Councillor Archie Dryburgh and interest from The Crichton Trust, the war veterans have quickly been able to start work on a new community gardening project at The Crichton in Dumfries.
Project Co-ordinator Mark Harper said: “Having a community gardening project to focus on has been a great way of reintroducing the ex-service personnel to society, so it has been important to secure this new project. We are delighted to start work on the Crichton project and to have use of the old nursery and greenhouse. Getting the team together to work on this project has both physical and mental health benefits. We also run a monthly breakfast club and drop-in centre to provide participants with access to relevant information and advice, with support from NHS Dumfries and Galloway and The Crichton Trust. We have set up as a registered charity to take this work forward and we would be very grateful for the support of individuals and organisations who can help offer time, resources or building supplies to get the nursery and greenhouse building back into use. Anyone who can support should call 07525198144.”
Photo: Veterans Dumfries Garden and Breakfast Club: Left to right: Liam Wallace, Willie Dickie (Chairman), Mark Harper, Frank Roy, Councillor Archie Dryburgh and Ann Rae with Gordon Clark and Gwilym Gibbons from The Crichton Trust.
ONGOING PROGRESS AT THE GARDENERS YARD
Alcohol and Drugs Support South West Scotland is a charitable company, which offers a range of community-based services across Dumfries and Galloway. They have been developing a Community Garden on the Crichton grounds since February 2015.
Garden volunteers come from a variety of sources including Alcohol and Drugs Support, Princes Trust, Apex and Midpark. Statistics indicate the therapeutic effects of gardening and the project has benefitted many individuals from all walks of life. The grounds have been transformed from a piece of urban space to what it is today with its polytunnel, raised beds and more recently individual plots used by local community members.
Service Manager Hazel Thompson said “Our volunteers at the garden rave about the benefits they receive from working outdoors and seeing something they have planted grow. It improves general fitness and importantly people’s health and wellbeing. Anyone can volunteer and for further information are invited to call 01556 503550”.
Photo: The Gardeners Yard at The Crichton: Gordon Clark (centre) and Gwilym Gibbons (right) from The Crichton Trust with Charlotte Spratt and Hazel Thompson from Alcohol and Drugs Support South West Scotland and volunteers Rusty and Keith.
OFFER YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE COMMUNITY GARDEN PROJECTS
Gwilym Gibbons, Chief Executive of The Crichton Trust said: “It is great to be able to offer both groups a worthwhile project and to know that the individuals involved really benefit from their involvement. We look forward to seeing the outcome of their hard work, which as you will see from the photographs is a significant challenge. I would encourage anyone who can support these groups to get in touch with them asap. I know that financial donations, building and gardening supplies as well as additional volunteers to assist with the work would be much appreciated.”
THE CRICHTON GROUNDS AND GARDENS
In addition to the community garden spaces, The Crichton grounds and gardens are beautifully maintained by The Crichton Trust gardeners and are open and accessible to the public all year round. With 85 acres of parkland boasting a rock garden, many specimen trees and plants, arboretum and a rose garden, The Crichton offers a stunning location to take a leisurely stroll and is an idyllic setting for events including weddings, conferences, festivals and private celebrations.
The Crichton also features playing fields and an abundance of open spaces which are great for a range of activities from walking, cycling and football to the Crichton parkrun which takes places at The Crichton every Saturday morning from 9.15am.
The Crichton has a rich and fascinating heritage stemming back over a hundred years and the Heritage Walking Routes are a great opportunity for a fun and educational tour through the University Campus, Business Park and gardens. Neuro’s Bar, Restaurant and Spa is also a popular meeting place for anyone visiting The Crichton.