Bootle’s community gardeners are back in business following the lockdown and already planning their involvement in next year’s In Bloom competition and Tatton Park Flower Show.
The green-fingered enthusiasts from the Taking Root in Bootle network are delighted to be gardening again with the help of funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation.
This has ensured that everyone involved has received their own PPE bag containing masks, wipes, hand gel, first aid kit, water bottle, coffee cup and personal tools.
All the gardeners enjoyed receiving the very useful gift which one volunteer described as a ‘PPE treasure trove’, and the Foundation has also funded a range of health and safety, first aid, manual handling and safeguarding training.
Focusing on the sharing theme that is at the heart of Taking Root plants that had been stored in a community polytunnel over lockdown have finally being transported into their new homes across Bootle.
New borders were created outside Bootle Library and gifts of hardy perennials were given to some of the beautiful new alley gardens that are being created in different streets in the town.
Meanwhile, Sefton Council helped the project to share more by donating trays of bedding plants intended for the cancelled Southport Flower Show. These can now be spotted in community gardens and growing spaces across Bootle.
Looking ahead to the autumn, Taking Root will be focusing on creating growing corridors and pockets of beautiful spaces in key locations in Bootle.
Through its links with Feedback UK the project is also planning some end-of-season gleans enabling local volunteers to gather food from farms that would usually be wasted. This can then be brought back to Bootle and shared with local residents and community organisations.
Ruth Livesey from local social enterprise Regenerus, which co-ordinates the Taking Root in Bootle network, said: “Because of the pandemic we have had to learn quickly and risk assess all our activities thoroughly, but we are now in a strong position to return to growing activities in a safe and respectful way.
“Being in the open air is good for volunteers’ mental health and is also more Covid-19 secure, and we’re delighted at how keen people have been to get back involved.
“Now we’re looking forward to this years’ gleans, growing and community events, and we’ve already begun planning for 2021 when we hope to have another successful Bootle in Bloom entry, and our second show garden at Tatton Park Flower Show,” added Ruth.