July 19, 2024

Gardening opportunity helps create new outdoor community space

A volunteering opportunity has helped inspire a gardener to brighten up her neighbourhood.

Corinne Barber, of Llangollen has been taking part in volunteer gardening sessions led by staff at Plas Newydd and backed by Nature for Health.


Nature for Health is a collaborative project that works together with individuals and communities to highlight the role access to nature can have in improving health and wellbeing.

Plas Newydd has launched volunteering opportunities for keen gardeners who are also interested in preserving a piece of the town’s history.

The home of Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby contains around ten acres of grounds from rose gardens to woodland and dell areas, complemented by a stream flowing through.

Corinne explained it had been an ‘inspiration’ to volunteer at the historic site as one of the gardeners.

She said: “I live in a flat with no garden just a car park. I love gardening and a friend suggested I volunteer with you. I have a dog who is now old and not very able so taking him up there meant he could sit in the fresh air whilst I gardened.

“After a few months I felt inspired to try to make our car park more attractive not just for myself but the neighbours too. I painted the fences and potted loads of shrubs and plants. My sister made me a plant stand from a pallet and a neighbour painted ‘The Grapes Community Garden’ on it.

“Neighbours have all come together, some gave plants, some gave money and some gave gratitude and moral support. I have found by doing this the neighbours have come together. We have somewhere pleasant to sit and I added solar lights to give a nice ambience in the evenings.

“A few of us come together and sit outside for a chat and even people walking up and down the hill pop in for a chat to discuss the plants. I cannot believe the difference it has made to our little community and it is all because of my volunteering at Plas Newydd, it gave me the inspiration and confidence to create our own little oasis


Emlyn Jones, Head of Planning, Public Protection and Countryside Services, said: “Volunteering to help with the garden at Plas Newydd is great opportunity for residents interested in gardening to boost their wellbeing by spending time helping in this wonderful outdoor area.

“It’s great to hear that Corianne has enjoyed this experience and used it to create a fantastic community garden area for her and her neighbours to enjoy and experience the benefit of the outdoors right on their own doorsteps.”