£10,000 grant to ‘revitalise’ run-down Sidmouth area into sensory garden

Sidmouth in Bloom treasurer Peter Endersby and chairman Lynette Talbot with their plans for a sensor

Sidmouth in Bloom treasurer Peter Endersby and chairman Lynette Talbot with their plans for a sensory garden - Credit: Archant

A £10,000 grant from a supermarket chain means a garden for all the senses could be completed this year.

Sidmouth in Bloom (SiB) successfully applied for the cash from a Tesco scheme that puts the new five-pence charge for carrier bags – totalling more than £24million nationally since 2015 – to use in communities.

SiB chairman Lynette Talbot now hopes volunteers of all ages and levels of ability will pitch in to help revamp the Old Boat Park, at the northern end of the Ham, with a sensory garden.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this grant,” she said. It’s an area we want to revitalise. It will be a garden for all the senses and in the long-term there will be more wildlife – more insects and birds.

“Some neglected shrubbery will be removed, but some lovely trees, including a camellia, will be kept. We will be improving the soil and adding new soil.

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“It’s a lot of work. If anybody wishes to be involved, we would be only too happy.

“We hope the garden will provide a valuable asset for the town and those with sensory deprivation for many years to come.”

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The beds are all raised so Lynette said they will be accessible for elderly volunteers or anyone in a wheelchair.

SiB had already been awarded grants from the Royal Horticultural Society and garden centre chain Wyevale to get started on three of the beds – but Tesco’s support should take the project through to completion.

Lynette emphasised that the grant is earmarked to revamp the Old Boat Park’s eight raised beds and cannot be used elsewhere in the town. She praised SiB treasurer Peter Endersby for initiating the grant process and meticulously costing the project to meet the requirements over the last year.

Grants of £8,000, £10,000 and £12,000 were available under the Bags of Help fundraising initiative, which gave customers the chance to vote for their favourite project. The scheme is going monthly - meaning smaller, more accessible grants.

Tesco’s Lindsey Crompton said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success.”

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