Volunteers join King’s Big Help Out to create a blooming great community space for Netherton Activity Centre

Volunteers have been digging deep as part of the King’s Coronation Big Help Out this week to create a community outdoor space at Netherton Activity Centre.

group 3.jpgThe project was led by water company United Utilities, which wanted to support the as a way to thank the local community for their patience following a burst in the area last summer. In discussion with Sefton Council, which runs the centre on Glovers Lane, it was decided that some work to enhance the outdoor space would provide a boost for everyone who visits, giving them the opportunity to get gardening or simply to relax in natural surroundings.

To get the work started the United Utilities team and landscape company Horticon gave the outdoor area a refresh by clearing and cutting back overgrown vegetation. They also fitted special seating that doubles up as a home for insects, planted fruit trees including damson and plum as well as ferns and bushes, created an ivy fence, and brought the insect hotel back to life.

Following this initial work, and to link in with the Big Help Out to mark the coronation of King Charles III, youngsters from the nearby Rowan Park School got their gloves on and their watering cans out to finish off the planting.

Trowels in hand, the pupils planted a host of vegetables, including potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower, which will form part of a kitchen garden. Over the coming months visitors to the centre will tend to the greenery, helping it mature into a calm space for relaxation and somewhere to grow produce for cooking lessons at the centre. Later this year they will also plant hundreds of bulbs, so that next spring the garden will blossom with a riot of colours.

Mark Booth, Area Engagement Lead for Merseyside at United Utilities, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to support Netherton Activity Centre and the local community in this way to thank them for their patience while we dealt with a burst water main last summer.

“The centre is a thriving hub that brings people together from across the area, so all our colleagues who have been out digging and building have been really proud to play their part.”

Brian Tollitt, Principal Landscape Architect at United Utilities, added: “When it comes to gardening, being able to keep on top of things is key, so we’ve enhanced this space in a way that all of the groups who use the centre will be able to get their wellies and gloves on and get involved.

“From harvesting fruit to make jam, to growing veg and herbs to use in cooking classes at the centre, the new garden gives everyone the chance to be hands-on with nature and we’re sure it will go on to thrive.”

John Doran, Assistant Manager of Sefton’s Aiming High for Disabled Children team, said: “It’s fantastic to see the outdoor area and garden brought back to life.

“Everyone who comes to the centre will now be able to get involved in keeping it maintained, also also just enjoy the fresh air.

“It’s a great way to bring people together and we’re sure it will become a much-loved part of the popular Netherton Activity Centre.”

Clare Broadbent, Landscape Architect at Horticon, said: “We’re delighted to have been part of the team to bring this outdoor space back to life.

“It was fantastic to see the youngsters digging and planting, and we hope they will enjoy many more happy visits as they watch the plants grow.”