Over the last few weeks the Community Interest Company Dig In, which runs the walled garden in Ashton Park, has seen a hive of industry with various parties coming together to clear an area of spare but cluttered land.
Dig In was established into the walled garden in Ashton Park in September 2012 thanks to the miracle performed by Channel 5’s Construction Squad. Having successfully developed the garden into a thriving sanctuary for local military veterans, plans are afoot to extend the service further into the walled garden. With great support from all the volunteers of the various companies, as well as of course the ex-service personnel from Dig In, the first stage of those plans were put into action as the undergrowth that covers much of the yard was cleared.
Dig In’s director, Donna Rowe Green said “our dream is to create an educational area, where local groups of people can come and learn country crafts, garden history and other skills. “We also hope to be able to build a classroom and workshop, as well as developing the existing building at the end of the garden into an artisan bakery with a coffee shop attached. “We are of course a long way off achieving this, and will take our time to make sure we do it properly without undue stress, but every dream starts with that first step, and thanks to everyone involved so far, we have made that first step”.
Dig In is made of a team of ex-military personnel, who, despite experiencing mental wounds from their service, are above all a dedicated, skilled and resourceful group of people. They want ot use those skills for the good of our local community as well as fellow veterans. This integration is at the heart of our second phase of the organisation. Currently we provide sanctuary, and that will never change. Throughout all potential developments, the oasis that we currently have, will remain a safe place for those that need it. However, for those that are further along their recovery path, there is a real desire to work, and to contribute to local society. Upon completion of these developments we will be able to support that desire.
A great deal of the work in clearing the space for the new project to proceed has been assisted by volunteers from Preston City Council’s Parks Department, Amey Building contractors and Lloyds Banking Group. Donna said “without these wonderful people from the various organisations working as volunteers, it would not have been possible to clear the land in readiness for the next stage; they have done a truly wonderful job”.
Dig In hopes to achieve this dream within 2 years, and the resulting project will be staffed entirely by military veterans.
If you would like to know more about Dig In then you can browse their website for more information or you can access their Facebook page
Have you seen the Dig In walled garden yet? Let us know in the comments below.