Abandoned Veg Out boxes taken out as part of town tidy-up
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
RAISED beds and tubs used as part of a community gardening project which ended last year have been removed from Barnard Castle’s streets.
Veg Out in Barney folded after seven years due to a lack of volunteers – but the pots, troughs and borders of fruit, veg and herbs, from which residents were invited to help themselves for free, were left in place.
Their condition has deteriorated in recent months while the plants have become overgrown and infested with weeds. Barney’s volunteer group dubbed The Workers has now removed tubs and beds on Scar Top, The Bank, outside the GP surgery and at the bottom of Galgate.
However, plants have been salvaged from the Veg Out boxes and given a new home in the Roman Way picnic area, which is also being cared for by The Workers.
Roger Peat, who co-ordinates The Workers’ efforts, said the group had worked in partnership with Barnard Castle Rotary Club – which supported the Veg Out scheme – to remove the boxes.
“We have taken strawberries, herbs, such as rosemary and sage, and other plants from the boxes to put in at the picnic site,” he said.
Mr Peat said he was pleased with the way the picnic site was shaping up after The Workers began maintaining the popular riverside spot earlier this year.
He said further improvements to the area could be on the cards.
“We had a meeting with the tree officer at Durham County Council about thinning out some of the branches of the trees to open up the views along the river to the County Bridge.
“The trees are the responsibility of Durham County Council rather than Raby Estates and he was quite sympathetic to the idea.
“He is going back to the county’s Clean and Green team to see what could reasonably be done, but this is another project The Workers could be involved in.”
Mr Peat said trees alongside the riverside footpath from the picnic site to the castle could also be thinned to open the views along that area as well. Meanwhile, the nettle-infested area directly in front of the picnic site has been cut back to ground level by The Workers to further improve the area.