Hitchin BID manager Keith Hoskins on the budding idea for a new community meadow
- Credit: Archant
Hitchin man Steve MacSweeney has taken the germ of an idea formed while he was out walking the dog and is busy turning it into reality!
He approached Hitchin Priory last year about a piece of land which lies just south of the Priory Park, opposite Milford Lodge Nursing Home, and the Three Moorhens pub. The site is almost 1.5 acres, and has been unused since the bypass was built!
Steve had walked his dogs through it to Charlton and the fields beyond every morning for the past 11 years, and suddenly realised last year that this could make a really good community garden and a wildlife meadow.
In November 2016 he took the idea to the Priory directors, and in February they agreed to allow the project to develop.
Knowing a little about wildflower meadows, but with no great experience beyond spuds and runner beans, Steve immediately began looking for a partner. He has spoken to various local agencies and charities who are very supportive, and was introduced to Aletheia Mashiri by Claire Morgan of NHDC.
Aletheia has her own community garden behind her home in Hitchin. She has been looking for a larger project in the area where she can develop a permaculture garden, completely self sustaining and self sufficient.
She would like to invite families, kids, schools and amateur gardeners to share her dream, and intends to provide workshops.
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Steve’s own company, Home Extension Team in Hitchin, commissioned Groundworks to draw up plans and provide costings. The plans, which are subject to the Priory’s approval have a budget to make your eyes water so lots of help and volunteers are needed!
Volunteers or people wanting to know more email email@example.com.
Stop press – Waitrose in Hitchin is promoting this project in July, under the Green Button scheme. If you shop there could you contribute your buttons so save your buttons until July!
In another area, I see there is a planning application on the former public toilets in Portmill Lane – remember the ones that used to be underground? – for a change of use to café/restaurant!
Best of luck with that one but it’s a shame that with the proximity to the existing car park, we can’t provide some much-needed sheltered parking for cycles and motorcycles.