The Hibaldstow Methodist Hall applied to the Merlin Renewables community fund scheme to part-fund their garden refurbishment project. The garden had been neglected, particularly since the beginning of the pandemic. It was overgrown and disused when in the past, it had been a social space often used as a community area for village groups and activities. E.g., Astronomical group, yoga, Cake & Co.
More dominant species took over, reducing the biodiversity of the garden, so there was a clear social and environmental aspect to the application. The funding was used to remove tree trunks and the Ivy monoculture as well as construction elements such as a trellis fence, slabbing and benches made from recycled material. These additions would regenerate the area, making it suitable once again for community activity whilst encouraging wider biodiversity.
The Methodist Hall was successful with their application and funds to contributing to the project were awarded. The project began in the Autumn of 2021, when a small group of volunteers planned the refurbishment. The work began with clearance of the monoculture species such as briers and ivy. In early 2022 the work continued with the cutting back of overgrown trees and bushes.
The Merlin Renewables grant was awarded in June 2022 and used to install the pathway and seating area that now defines the lawned and garden areas. General planting including new shrubs and bushes were introduced to the area, as well as a rockery and rose bed. To complement the planting of buddleia, lavender, and verbena, there are plans to encourage wildlife with bird feeding stations, hedgehog highways and homes, and insect hotels.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the volunteers, the garden has been rejuvenated and is an asset to the community. It is a social hub for the community with all involved excited to watch it thrive in the future.