Volunteers give a spruce up to ‘neglected’ area
HYDRANGEAS, rhododendrons, holly and lavender are bringing new beauty to a previously “neglected” part of West Auckland.
The volunteer gardeners who make up the village’s In Bloom team and have transformed the greens over the past two years, are now turning their attention to other areas. Most recently they have targeted a small patch of green near the Spar shop, as well as a footpath heading towards Oakley Cross Primary School.
Jean Pattison, from the group, said: “People down here feel they have been left out. People have been coming out and saying how lovely it is.
“That is what makes it feel like what you are doing is worthwhile. It is just nice to give something and help other people.”
Volunteer Audrey Beck added: “In the winter we are going to put some daffodils down to St Helen Auckland.”
The newly beautified area is near the “washer”area of the village’s old pit mine, and West Auckland In Bloom members are hoping that it will be a gateway to the new footpath that will form part of the bi-centenary celebration of the Darlington and Stockton Railway in 2025. The new planting was partly made possible through a £500 grant from Durham County Council’s civic pride team. The group’s activities have been infectious with other people in the village feeling inspired to do their own bit of gardening. Most recently they were pleasantly surprised to see poppies growing while working on a path way that runs from Darlington Road to the primary school. Mrs Pattison said: “We didn’t know who put them in. Then Audrey was talking to this couple and they said ‘we did’.”
A couple walking their dog also made a £200 donation when they saw the volunteers at work. West Auckland In Bloom have several ambitious projects in the pipeline including creating a centrepiece using a coal tub as a planter to celebrate mining heritage.