Staff plough on in hope of saving project

Gardener Ash Watt with parents and children attending "Muddy Monday" at the Kabin's community garden.
Gardener Ash Watt with parents and children attending "Muddy Monday" at the Kabin's community garden.

Staff responsible for the Kabin’s Community Garden have carried on as volunteers since being made redundant.

The two former paid staff members, along with two volunteers, are continuing to provide as many of the regular activities as possible while they wait to discover if they will still have a garden to tend in the near future.

Daya Feldwick, former Kabin Community Garden project worker, said: “We have been told by Big Lottery that the garden space is more or less in the hands of who takes over.

“If the new people don’t want it, the garden is free for the community to use – but if they want to take it over we don’t know if we can still keep gardening.

“The worst case scenario is no suitable organisation takes over and the land gets sold to the highest bidder.”

Daya is keen to see the project continue. She said: “The landscaping project has been providing valuable training opportunities for young people, from taster sessions to longer placements, all contributing to improved positive destinations for school leavers in Midlothian.

“We have developed good partnerships with high schools, colleges and employability agencies and many young people have benefited over the years. It is difficult to just walk away after so much effort has been put in.”

The community garden has been open since 2006, providing regular gardening groups for locals of all ages.

The group had also secured Scottish Government funding to take forward its Kabin Landscaping project. With the closure that has been withheld. Daya added: “We had funding awarded for three posts, one full-time and two part time to last until December.

“Now we don’t know what is happening. If we can save the project, the funding is there. It’s hanging in the balance. The Kabin is still open until December and we hope to have it all resolved well before then.”

Colin Beattie, Kabin chairman said: “It goes without saying that the board of the Kabin would wish the community garden project to continue. To be clear there is currently no funding/grant attached to any garden project.”