Growing Midlothian project’s boost

Volunteer Midlothian 95 High St, Dalkeith has been awarded funding for community garden project in the grounds of Dalkeith Country Park.''Staff members prepare the ground for cultivation.''LtoR Claire Spiden, Katrina Dunlop, Ross Laird, Graeme Egan & Cheryl Prior
Volunteer Midlothian 95 High St, Dalkeith has been awarded funding for community garden project in the grounds of Dalkeith Country Park.''Staff members prepare the ground for cultivation.''LtoR Claire Spiden, Katrina Dunlop, Ross Laird, Graeme Egan & Cheryl Prior

A community gardening project which promotes health and wellbeing has been given a funding boost by Scottish Natural Heritage.

The agency has agreed to continue its backing of Midlothian Growing Together, which is delivered by Volunteer Midlothian.

The project helps develop social and practical skills, community belonging and environmental sustainability through volunteering.

This year, it has also signed up to take part in It’s Your Neighbourhood, a long-established Royal Horticultural Society community environmental improvement campaign that, north of the border, is run by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

John O’Keefe, Scottish Natural Heritage’s operational officer, said: “We’re delighted to continue to support Volunteer Midlothian help people learn about wildlife gardening.

“This project not only benefits wildlife, but it also improves people’s health and wellbeing.

“It’s great that enjoying the outdoors comes with these health benefits.”

Since the project began in May 2013, volunteers have developed and maintained a community garden within the grounds of Dalkeith Country Park, as well an allotment at Vogrie Country Park, near Gorebridge.

Recently, the volunteers have been busy creating a living willow den, a spiral herb bed and growing fruit and vegetables at the community garden and allotment.

In the following months, the volunteers plan to create more habitats for wildlife in the garden as well as growing more produce.

Midlothian Growing Together is always looking for new volunteers to get involved in what they are doing.

The group has sessions for young people on a Thursday 10am-12pm and 12:30pm-2:30pm and sessions for adults on Fridays 11am-1pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm.

Volunteers can learn all aspects of landscaping and horticulture, including fence building, raised bed construction, fruit and vegetable growing and wildlife promotion.

For youth sessions contact Keith on 0131 660 1216 or keith@volunteermidlothian.org.uk.

For adult sessions contact Kat on 0131 660 1216 or katrina@volunteermidlothian.org.uk.