Ardentinny Community Trust AGM

Ardentinny Community Trust held its AGM on 19 September 2017 which covered the year April 2016 – March 2017. Its reported activity concerned Glenfinart Walled Garden which is the Trust’s sole project.The Trust Chair reported as follows:

The garden opened for the season on Monday 28th as part of the Forestry Commission’s Easter Eggstravaganza.
The garden was open Saturdays and Sundays 12.00 – 4.00 p.m. and on the first Friday of each month 11.00 – 2.00 p.m. (when Ardentinny Village Hall had their ‘Soup n Sandwich’ event).
However visitors were welcome in the garden any day if the gate was open or by appointment.

In April Franziska decided to return to her home in Germany. She held very informative Masterclasses which were well attended and helped to raise the profile of the garden. She encouraged volunteers and generally improved the flower and vegetable areas. Franziska shared her knowledge with all through her Gardener’s Blether. Simon Richardson was appointed as the new Volunteers’ Coordinator/Gardener and began work in July.
In the interim months volunteers and Community Payback planted out the vegetables in the polytunnel and kept the garden ticking over.

Our thanks go to Friends of Benmore Gardens who once again donated plants left over from the Benmore Botanic Garden Open Day.

Corrie MacDonald from Dunoon Grammar School Learning Centre started work experience in September 2016 travelling to the garden with a support worker every Monday.

Joe Robinson started work experience in the garden in February 2017 for his UHI College Course.

Events:
The Big Picnic, with live music from the ‘Elderly Brothers’ attracted a lot of picnickers and despite the damp start was enjoyed by all.

During Cowal Open Studios, Anthea Gage exhibited in the shed and welcomed 145 visitors to her exhibition.

The Harvest Fair, our annual fundraising event attracted many visitors and raised £1100 some of which went towards a diesel generator. Thank you to all the people who helped to make it such a success – too numerous to mention!

There was a ‘Sparkle Bomb’ the Garden event. Locals and visitors brought Christmas decorations to sparkle the children’s area.

Fundraising and Outreach:
The Trust was awarded a Tesco Groundworks’ Grant to put in Disabled parking.

A grant, awarded by Cowal Health and Wellbeing Network in February, will assist with the transportation of volunteers to the garden.

Trustees attended the Community Partnership’s Annual BBQ in Ardentinny Village Hall and their EGM and workshops in The Three Villages Hall, Arrochar.

The Garden had a fundraising stall at Dunoon Dazzle.

The garden had a stall at the Jobs’ Fair in Dunoon Grammar

A powerpoint presentation about the garden and its history was delivered at one of the TSI meetings in Dunoon, at the first meeting of the DASH Recovery Cafe and at one of the Parkinsons’ and Carers’ Group meetings. Talks were again given at the Job Centre

Visitors:
The 500th visitor of the season signed the visitors’ book in September. This did not include the visitors who do not sign the book, regular, local visitors and the people who attended the Easter event, the Big Picnic and Cowal Open Studios.

Other groups who visited the garden were: Strone Primary, Dunoon Grammar School Learning Centre and Glasgow Art Students who were staying at the outdoor centre. Carers from ENABLE and ASSIST brought their clients to enjoy the space.

Neil Black and Eilidh McKerry from the National Park visited the garden on their annual grant monitoring visit. They were delighted with the progress of the garden.

Tamara Hedderwick from the Groundworks’ grant team visited the garden to take promotional photographs.

Volunteer and Community support:
National Park Rangers regularly visited and NP Volunteers attended our Action Days on the last Saturday of the month which was extended, in July, to include the second Sunday of the month.

Tullochan Futures Group visited the garden with Steven Kenny from the National Park

The Forestry Commission provided us with marquees for our events. The village hall lent us tables and chairs.

The EXP, Youth Group spent a MAD (Make A Difference) day during the summer holidays.

ISS Facility Services Landscaping, Cowal and Bute Team, led by Andy continued to support the garden by professionally strimming the’ tump’ round the sensory garden and cutting the grassy areas to ensure maximum growth.

Two young men from the HELP Project began working in the garden on Thursdays.

The Community Payback Teams continue to be a great asset to the garden.

Development:
The storage yard was completed by attaching a large net to telegraph poles to hide our store of resources. Climbing plants were be grown up the net to further hide them. The compost bins were extended.

The shed roof was covered by box profile to make it water tight and to help preserve it for the years to come. The gutters were renewed and we are, again able to gather and store rain water in the bowsers behind the shed. This has made the watering of the polytunnel much less labour intensive.

The improvement to the water supply was completed. Water butts situated in the polytunnel and at the ends of each planting area were fitted with individual taps connected to pipe from the main bowser.

A diesel generator was installed behind the main shed. There is now power in the shed and outdoor electric sockets for events.

Sam Campbell felled several trees to make way for the parking spaces outside the wall. The Road Upgrade and 2 Disabled Parking spaces as well as parking for a minibus and 1 car were completed by Ross Macarthur Contractors ltd with a grant from Tesco, Groundworks ‘Bags of Help and Argyll and Bute Council.

Our grateful thanks go to the many supporters of the garden project who give of their time and resources and of course to the visitors who come from far and wide.

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