Reports and meeting announcement from the Sidcup Community Garden Group.
Community answer the call to restore Sidcup’s “Secret Garden”.
Council cuts backs meant that the once beautiful walled garden at Sidcup Place was allowed to decline, and become overgrown through lack of maintenance. The garden, often known as Sidcup’s Secret Garden was home to a collection of beautiful roses, shrubs and plants and a place to relax and admire the flowers and foliage.
The Sidcup Community Project has now been launched. After seeing the sad state of the garden himself, local Sidcup Councillor, Rob Leitch, decided to set up a community takeover of the site, to clear the out-of-control weeds and re-plant the beds. The restoration project has gone down well with local residents with over 50 signing up to the voluntary initiative.
In just two meetings, volunteers have cut back overgrown foliage, cleared weeds, cut grass and all the groundwork needed, ready to replant the flower beds. The volunteers were joined by youthful volunteers from Lark in the Park. They repaired and painted fences and cleared old flower beds.
Malcolm Greening (72) and David Dennis (70), both members of the Sidcup Rotary Club’s Community Service Committee were both hard at work cutting back the overgrown trees and bushes that form the centrepiece of the gardens. David said: “It was such a lovely place, but has declined dramatically in recent months, it will be good to see it all restored to its former glory”.
Cll Leitch has secured sponsorship and help from a number of local businesses, including . Ruxley Manor Garden Centre, MiddletonMurray recruitment, NJ Lewis & Associates surveyors, Indalo Property Services, the Rotary Club of Sidcup, New Community Church – Lark in the Park and a number of private donors
Commenting on the launch of the project, Cllr Rob Leitch said: “We live in an age where community spirit is considered to have been lost. However, the early stages of this project suggest that Sidcup’s community spirit is alive and kicking. To have so many local residents signing up, local businesses offering sponsoring and existing community initiatives like Lark in the Park coming on board speaks volumes about how much local people care about their area. We are privileged to have our own secret garden in Sidcup and together, we will restore it to its former glory”.
‘I have been extremely encouraged by the response that the Sidcup Community Garden Project has provoked in the local community. Over 50 volunteers have signed up to support the restoration of the garden, without whom this project would have never taken off. Likewise, we have had terrific support from local businesses and private donors who have sponsored border beds or equipment for the initiative. It is wonderful to see the community pulling together, with volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, to enhance one of our hidden gems in Sidcup. The project is in its early stages but with so much support from the local community, I truly believe that anything is possible. This project proves that community spirit is alive and kicking in Sidcup, and long may that continue.’
Rob Leitch’s own email.
Thank you for your ongoing support with the Sidcup Community Garden Project. I am pleased that our efforts have generated a bit more local press in the Bexley News Shopper.
Cllr Rob Leitch
Agenda for Meeting 7th September.
Meeting Time: 1900hrs
Meeting Location: St. John’s Church, Sidcup – inside the main church building, not the church hall.
- Apologies for absence
- Project update – Rob Leitch
- Nominations for Committee posts
– Project Manager (day-to-day oversight and planting plans)
– Health and Safety (including insurance)
- Japanese Knotweed update
- Water supply update
- Future dates of meetings and work days
- Any other business