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Crediton Library garden wins Britain in Bloom award

Posted on 26 Oct 2021

Knitting group sitting on gCommunity area given RHS thumbs up.

Crediton Library’s community garden has won a Britain in Bloom Award.

The garden, which has been transformed and maintained by volunteers, attained ‘Level 4 – Thriving’ in the Britain in Bloom South West’s ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ section.

The space currently hosts Bounce & Rhyme sessions for parents, carers and babies, knitting groups and a Teen Reading Group, as well as offering a tranquil spot for customers to enjoy a book.

Crediton Library Supervisor Sue Lee said: “This is a fantastic testimony to all the hard work and dedication of the volunteers, and we are delighted. There are 5 levels, and the 5th is ‘Outstanding’ so I am both amazed and pleased at achieving a Level 4.”

“The judges said that our garden was ‘impressive’ in what we had achieved in a short time with a formerly derelict piece of land. They liked the ecological benefits and were pleased with our plans for the future.”

The development of the community garden started in 2020. The patch has beautiful views of Newcombes Meadow Park but was previously kept locked because it had a steep step and a downhill slope.

“In talking with staff, customers and the Friends of Crediton Library (FoCL) I devised the Crediton Library Community Garden project and started fundraising,” added Sue. “I also sought advice from Sustainable Crediton, Crediton Garden Club and a local bee expert.”

Nearly £6,500 worth of funding came from Libraries Unlimited and FoCL, Invest in Devon, Crediton Town Council, Co-op Local Causes Fund, the League of Friends of Crediton Hospital, the Crediton and District Lions Club, Gregory Distribution and local fundraising, Mid Devon District Council Love your Town Centre Capital Investment Fund, Evolve, Arts Council England and Exeter City Council.

In March 2021 decking was installed to give level access via three sets of patio doors, and a low fence added to make the area safe. A water butt was also installed ready for future additions to the garden. The steep grass slope is being converted to a wildflower meadow. A bird bath has been put in to provide water for bees, and children have created a large bug hotel.

The next phase will be funded by Mid Devon District Council, Crediton Town Council and FoCL.

“One of the patio doors needs to be replaced by an accessible door so people using mobility walkers and wheelchairs can use it,” said Sue. “And we’re putting in accessible wooden planting troughs with bee friendly planting.”

“We also have a wonderful bench being made by the community and overseen by James Bond of Carving Community CIC. It’s being created from a local fallen oak tree with traditional tools in Crediton Town Square during October and November 2021.”

The judges were impressed with the amount of community involvement, the sustainability of the project and how much had been achieved so far.

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.