Volunteers create a community hub garden

A NEW woodland garden has opened at The Vyne Centre for the Community in Knaphill.

The Mayor of Woking, Cllr Saj Hussain, was joined at the opening ceremony by local ward councillors Melanie Whitehand and Hassan Akberali, volunteers who helped build the garden, the RHS Wisley outreach team and members of the local community.

WINNING TEAM – The Mayor of Woking, Cllr Saj Hussain, at the opening of the garden with Knaphill councillors Melanie Whitehand and Hassan Akberali, The Vyne manager Gill Waine, members of the RHS Wisley community outreach team, and volunteers who helped to create the garden, which includes features to encourage wildlife, including bird feeders

Work to create the garden began only days before the official opening with volunteers from RHS Wisley, The Vyne, and Year 10 students from The Winston Churchill School clearing, weeding and planting, all under the watchful eye of the Wisley team.

The Vyne Centre for the Community, where the new garden has been built

The garden is a joint venture between staff and patrons of The Vyne and RHS Wisley’s community outreach team to upgrade an outdoor space into a new woodland garden. Its goals are to create spaces for wildlife, and areas to relax and get together.

The project is also intended to create a new community hub at The Vyne, to encourage people to return to the centre after the pandemic.

Cllr Ellen Nicholson, Woking Borough Council’s portfolio holder for living well, said: “Gardens and green spaces can have such a positive impact on our mental health. It is important that we can all access beautiful outdoor spaces for our own health, as well as the health of the natural life and ecosystems around us.

“The dedicated team of volunteers have created such a wonderful and calming outdoor space. It is fantastic that customers from The Vyne were able to have a hand in designing the new garden, making it a true community project.

“With summer approaching, it is the perfect time to pay a visit to The Vyne.”

The project was funded by Friends of The Vyne, who contributed £5,000 towards materials, and a grant from RHS Wisley which covered labour costs.

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