Milford Community GreenSpace

 

In July 2020 work began to create the Milford Community Green Space, from 2 allotments above the Holy Trinity Church on the A6, with the aim to provide a green area for the Milford School pupils during schooldays and, outside of school hours, a space for other community activities.

Green space volunteers hard at work, September 2020.

In the last 6 months of 2020 an army of volunteer Milford residents  cleared mountains of undergrowth and lorry loads of rubbish from the site, built a sturdy entrance ladder and fence (materials provided by Belper Town Council (BTC)), laid bark chip paths and, with the help of the school children, planted fruit trees (also provided by BTC) and raspberries.

Wigwam

Raised vegetable beds

In 2021 facilities were added to the site at a breathtaking pace. Even in the lockdown work continued, with volunteers working alone or as single households. By March 2021 a new shed, a wigwam, a children’s story telling area, a composting toilet and hand wash station, 3 raised vegetable beds, a water feature and children’s kitchen had been added. Now Forest School lessons are being undertaken on the space twice a week and, of course, the children from Milford School are using the space again now the school has reopened. In April 2021 a grant was received from Belper Town Council to improve the site further, including a fire pit, water storage facility, site stabilisation, native hedge and chickens. By September 2021 3 chickens had been installed in a large coop and run made by one of the parents, and by November 2021 a large Fire Pit was installed after 4 months work (see article in Derby Evening Telegraph, here.). In December 2021 we held a Christmas community event there, with over 30 people in attendance round the fire, eating mince pies and drinking mulled wine.

Children having a Forest School class in the fire pit, with head teacher Cathy Kinsella and the GreenSpace committee

The GreenSpace was part of the judging route for Milford’s 2021 gold award winning entry into the East Midlands in Bloom competition and so impressed were the judges that they gave the GreenSpace a separate discretionary award (see here) in September 2021.

New chicken coup and run for GreenSpace

Milford School children planting fruit trees in December 2020

In September 2021 we took over the tenancy of an adjacent allotment and since then our focus has been clearing it and incorporating it into the GreenSpace.

By December 2021 we had already cleared half of it of mountains of weeds and rubbish and converted it into a children’s maze, complete with beech hedges, bark chip paths and an amelanchier tree centrepiece.

 

GreenSpace maze two months after planting

The Milford Community GreenSpace committee was formed in November 2020 to co-ordinate activities and move the project forward. They produce regular update newsletters, which are published on this site (here for October 2020, here for December 2020, here for January 2021, here for March 2021, here for April 2021, here for September 2021, here for November 2021 and here for February 2022) and have a Facebook page, here.

New steps fabricated for the Green Space

We are still very keen for more volunteers to come and help with improvements of the site, the list of current projects is shown below.  Anyone interested in helping out please contact Kate on 07794268059, or just turn up with gardening gloves and rough clothes – we have plenty of tools on site. Work parties take place all year round every Sunday and Monday 10am – 12am, and additional ones may be organised for specific tasks. For example, a specific work party is being organised for Saturday 28th February to prepare ground along the fence and plant native tree saplings supplied by the Woodland Trust in order to create a hedge. All volunteers welcome!

Current Projects

  • Continue to weed and clear the newly acquired adjacent allotment – now working on wild flower garden
  • Excavate hole to put water storage tank into
  • Prepare ground along fence for hedge/trees then plant trees
  • Load chipped bark into bags, carry it up to site and spread it on paths

 

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