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.
Very much a work in progress, 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.
In 2021 facilities have been 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 already 3 chickens have 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.)
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.
In September 2021 we took over the tenancy of an adjacent allotment so will expand the GreenSpace to incorporate it.
A 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 and here for November 2021) and have a Facebook page, here.
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.
- Continue weeding plot and clear the newly acquired adjacent allotment
- Excavate hole to put lower water storage tank into
- Prepare ground along fence for hedge/trees
- Load chipped bark into bags, carry it up to site and spread it on paths
- Carry compost onto site and dress raised beds.
In addition we are holding events for the whole village on the site all day on Sunday 19th December – if you’ve never been to the GreenSpace before, why not come down, have a look and meet us?
From 9.30am – 3pm there will be Play and Create sessions for children (infants in the morning, juniors in the afternoon) £3 per child. Parents/Carers are welcome to stay, or just turn up at 12pm for lunch around the fire pit. Booking essential – for more details, see linked poster below.
After 3pm there will be a Winter Gathering for adults, around the fire pit, where mince pies, mulled wine and hot drinks will be served. This is free – but donations to our funds to help the GreenSpace’s continuing development will be welcome. More details in the linked poster below.