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St John's community woodland garden opened (draft)

Date: 09 July 2012

ST JOHN’S community woodland garden was finally opened after extensive clearance work on Sunday 24 June.

Councillor Barbara Hurst, of St John’s Ward, had the honour of cutting the ribbon to officially open the garden in the churchyard of St John the Baptist Church, Cove, which had been the community project of The Second Cove Sea Scouts for the last XXX months.

It was a Rushmoor Council TAG community and environmental grant of £1000 which first provided the opportunity for the community to reclaim the overgrown disused Glebe Land.

“We were delighted to receive the TAG award, and we hope the garden will be a breathing space for the community for years to come,” Vicar Esther Prior said. “But we mustn’t forget that this project would not have been possible without the generosity of a whole host of volunteers.”

An astounding number of hours were put into the project by the Sea Scouts and many church volunteers, who together, cleared the area of overgrowth, installed raised beds and picnic benches, and oversaw the installation of a new interpretation board, now listing the churchyard as a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation by Hampshire Wildlife Trust (HWT).

After a nature trail with a HWT specialist to celebrate the opening of the new community space, guests were treated to tea and cakes.

While the garden may be finished, St John’s is already looking towards their next project – a much needed update of the compact Victorian church building to provide a fit-for-purpose community facility for years to come, with plans to add an extension to include toilet and kitchen facilities on site.

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