SCHOOLS & EDUCATION
Being such a small team of working volunteers, it is very difficult for us to spend time in schools but we managed to visit Navigation Primary School’s Eco Team for 10 frenetic sessions between January and June 2017. Despite having only half an hour during a lunch break on each occasion, we managed to teach the children about: How to chit seed potatoes, identify weeds, recycle food waste to make compost, sow seed potatoes in containers, sow vegetable and herb seeds and beans, learn about the importance of bees and other pollinators and how to identify a variety of insects, build a bug hotel, sow wildflower seeds, harvest potatoes. The children have really enjoyed having a purpose for growing all of the foo on Shaw’s Green and although they haven’t been able to visit the site in school time yet, they are looking forward to meeting the judges there on July 13th and also some of the senior citizens who enjoy their “beautiful potatoes”. Next year, we hope to continue our work with Navigation primary School and possibly others and to launch a Primary Schools’ Gardening Contest to encourage a little friendly competition.
COMMUNITY PLANTER SCHEME
As ever, our award-winning Community Planter Custodians (22 businesses and community groups) have worked hard all year round to create and maintain dynamic and colourful displays in our town centre. The colours bursting forth in Spring have brightened up our days and kept the town on an upward keel. This Summer’s planting theme is ‘Sense-sation’ so we are looking forward to enjoying a host of innovative and imaginative designs with all of our senses. As with virtually every project, our planters receive an unfair and regular battering from alcohol-fuelled revellers, often receiving donations of bottles, glasses and cigarette stubs. Maintenance is a constant pressure though vandalism and theft seem to have become a little less prevalent this year. The Summer is not yet over though so perhaps we should not count our chickens just yet!! Watering in times of drought can also be very challenging as we are such a small team and full water carts are heavy and difficult to push over uneven paving. Access to water is also an issue we are trying to resolve. We are looking to win funding in the next 12 months for an electric van to transport all our mucky equipment and plants around and to house a water bowser. This would enable us to deal with watering much more quickly and efficiently along with countless other mileage-saving benefits.
GORGEOUS GARDEN AWARDS
Altrincham In Bloom has teamed up with Skipton Building Society this year to run a residential gardening competition called the ‘Gorgeous Garden Awards’. Launched in early July, it is designed to encourage people to plant up front gardens and balconies – all those private spaces which are visible to passers by and therefore shared and enjoyed by the local community. We will be secretly assessing all entries throughout August and September for ‘gorgeousness’ and successful entrants will receive a certificate and entry to the Grand Prize Draw for £250 in National Gardening Gift Vouchers. The closing date for entries is September 9th with the winner being announced on September 30th.
Barrington Green is at the corner of Barrington Road and Hazel Road. Last Summer, it was in such a poor condition that Altrincham In Bloom identified it as a site which could benefit from some attention and a partial transformation was planned and carried out by an National Citizen Service team in August 2016. Buoyed by the improvement, committee member Bev Robinson took on the role of coordinator and we sought donations from local residents to carry on the improvements. A group of residents from surrounding streets and neighbouring Speakman Court began working on the site every two weeks and gradually, with the help of donations and financial support form Altrincham In Bloom, this valuable green space became something to be proud of again. This Spring saw the Green come alive with crocuses and daffodils and there is even a hedgehog house. The borders are now planted with perennials and work continues to improve all aspects of the site.
ST VINCENT DE PAUL CHURCH GARDENS
The Catholic Church of St Vincent de Paul Gardens on the corner of Bentinck Road and Groby Road are a delight all year round. Maintained by churchgoing volunteers, they brighten up every church occasion and people often cut across the site on their way into town to enjoy the flowers.
PURPLE FOR POLIO
Altrincham Rotary Club kindly bought 15,000 purple crocus bulbs in Autumn 2016 to help raise awareness about their global campaign to eradicate Polio. With our help, they were able to distribute them across the borough of Trafford. Several thousand were planted here in Altrincham – in John Leigh Park, Denzell Gardens, Barrington Green, Shaw’s Green, outside schools and in our Community Planters around the town.
Although there are no allotments in Altrincham itself, there are several sites in the adjoining residential areas of Hale, Timperley and Bowdon. In fact there are 36 sites throughout Trafford with over 1500 individual plots in full time use. All are Council-owned but operated by Allotment Societies. The well-loved tradition of allotments judging takes place annually in July, with award categories including Best site in the Borough, Best Plot in the Borough and many more. The awards are presented by the Mayor of Trafford. The cost of an allotment is £104.00 annually for a 250 square metre plot, half plots available for £52.00. 50% discount if you are over 60. For further information about locations of Trafford allotments or any other allotment enquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org