The Ross Community Garden marked its 10th anniversary last Thursday. Nestled in Old Gloucester Rd, the garden, managed by Haygrove Community Gardens Charity, staged an evening event filled with camaraderie and enthusiasm, gathering volunteers, service users, and representatives from local businesses and organisations.

The verdant garden has been the heart of the local community for a decade, offering a haven of tranquillity and a meeting point for many. The celebration highlighted the crucial role the garden plays and the charity’s ambitious plans for the future. Echoing these aspirations, Project Leader Tim Shelley articulated his gratitude towards those who have supported the garden’s journey. He stated, “We are extremely grateful to everyone who came along and particularly thankful to all those who, over the last 10 years, have given so much to make this green space a real hub for our local community.”

The evening unfurled with captivating talks by distinguished personalities including the Bishop of Hereford, Dr Simon Lennane, and Angus Davison from Haygrove, who shared their insights on the project and its impact on the community. Their inspiring speeches, coupled with the garden’s vibrant atmosphere, painted a promising picture of the community’s shared aspiration for the project’s expansion across Herefordshire.

The Ross Community Garden is a testament to the power of local community projects in uniting people, promoting environmental sustainability, and enhancing the quality of life. To discover more about the garden and contribute to its mission, interested individuals are encouraged to reach out to Tim Shelley via email at [email protected] or phone at 07972624378. In doing so, they can become part of a decade-long legacy and help forge an environmentally friendly future for Herefordshire.

Last year the Gazette reported on the B&Q Gardener of the Year competition which drew over 1,500 entries, all battling for the prestigious title, with the community garden coming out on top. Amid the vibrant plethora of submissions, Tim Shelley and his committed team of volunteers claimed the coveted B&Q Community Garden of the Year award. Their prize? A hearty £2,500 B&Q gift card.

Launched in April of that year, the competition sought to celebrate community-driven outdoor spaces, a vibrant reflection of democratised gardening. Shelley and his team earned recognition for their work in assembling a community garden that has brought the residents of Ross-on-Wye closer together. The key competition criteria called for a community garden that fostered enhanced life quality and wellbeing in its locale.

The competition’s esteemed panel of judges was an assembly of gardening luminaries, including GBBO judge Dame Prue Leith, B&Q Outdoor Category Director Steve Guy, and award-winning garden designers Matt Childs and Humaira Ikram.

Shelley reflected on the project’s journey, saying, “The response was initially slow as it was somewhat new to most people, but particularly during the Covid-19 crisis, we were able to reach more individuals.”