This year we carried out a revamp on our community polytunnel, which is located to the rear of the community hall.
The project was overseen by one of our committee members with assistance from the members of the CE scheme.
The polytunnel had fallen into disarray, with weeds taking hold and some old tables that we had reused from the school falling into bad repair.
We wanted to encourage the school children and the wider community to use the polytunnel and so it was necessary to get it up to a safe standard and make it a more work-friendly and pleasant place to be.
A new floor was the first step. We purchased some gravel and this was whacked in to ensure there was a level floor without trip hazards, which was also wheelchair accessible.
We decided raised flower beds would lead to a more pleasant gardening experience for those using the polytunnel. We bought some second hand scaffolding boards and also received donated timber to make the raised beds.
A local family donated horse manure and another family donated topsoil and we bought peat-free compost for the beds. Some volunteers and the members of the CE scheme filled up the raised beds.
We painted our presses to make it more aesthetically pleasing and we lowered some of the potting bench to make it easier for the children.
To ensure the newly revamped polytunnel would get good use, three volunteers visited the local school with some perennial seeds for the children to grow. Our ethos of recycling came into play and each child brought in a used toilet roll from home, which was transformed into a little pot. These were filled with peat-free compost and each child then selected some seeds which they planted in their pot before it was labelled by a volunteer.
The children then looked after the seeds at the school for a number of weeks, ensuring that they felt involved in growing the community flowers in the polytunnel. Once the polytunnel was safe for use, the children came over and had a very enjoyable morning sowing the flowers into different categories while the younger children took on the task of watering the flowers once they were planted.
The children will visit the polytunnel occasionally to water the flowers and check on their progress. When they are ready, the seedlings will be transplanted into the village where they will bloom every year. The children will see their hard work pay off and develop a sense of belonging and know they are contributing to the village community.
It is envisaged the polytunnel will be used throughout the year, with plans already for summer and autumn bedding. The polytunnel is a valuable resource and following its revamp we plan to maximise its use.