‘unloved’ space in Sidmouth to become coral-themed community garden

The area of land where a coral-themed garden is set to be in Sidmouth. Picture: Louise Cole

The area of land where a coral-themed garden is set to be in Sidmouth. Picture: Louise Cole - Credit: Louise Cole

An area of ‘unloved’ land in Sidmouth is set to be transformed into a sea-themed community garden.

The reimagining of the land, near The Ham, has been approved by Sidmouth Town Council and is part of a wider creative art and planting regeneration initiative.

The project will bring together community skills and volunteers to make a ‘timely’ contribution to the area to make it a more attractive and useful space.

The town council approved the proposal from Sidmouth In Bloom, Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub, a group of Glenisla Terrace residents, Sidmouth Arboretum, Sid Valley Biodiversity Group and Friends of the Byes.

Community groups are undertaking specific roles to use their specialist knowledge and passions on the garden including uncovering the heritage of the area which is on the site of the old gasworks.

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The design will incorporate bird and bat boxes and plants that will both survive the salty conditions and encourage insects and wildlife.

Lynette Talbot, chair of Sidmouth In Bloom, said: “This area would give protection from the sea winds to residents and visitors to sit, chat, and eat while giving a pleasant view towards the new bridge.”

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The coral reef theme has been chosen to tie in with Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub’s 2020 theme Life Below Water - preserving our oceans.

Louise Cole, director of Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub, said: “The health of our coral reefs is important to protect biodiversity, the theme of this new garden will help us to creatively promote protection of our marine environment such as reducing single use plastics.

“Through this project we can engage people in conversations, raise awareness and connect through art and planting to create a beautiful space for people to enjoy.”

Town council boards will be relocated nearly to create space for new planting and seating.

A public meeting to recruit volunteers is planned for October.

Anyone who would like to get involved and volunteer on the project and help with weeding, planting and heritage research should email info@sidmouthcoastalcommunityhub.org

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