Markets push for bigger community garden

AN ARTISAN market can be the thing that pushes a community garden scheme on to bigger and better things.

For three days, plenty of punters went to the event at Hattersley’s Big Garden Project with stalls selling everything from bric-a-brac – manned by Tameside’s Mayor, Cllr Janet Cooper – to ice cream reported brisk trade.

And the money raised can help the scheme, which operates on Union Close, not only get on a firm footing in the form of a 30-year lease but also expand.

Dylan and DesAlready some of its vegetable produce is used in restaurants in Manchester, with any excess going to a local food bank.

It is also home to 60 chickens, 10 ducks and two sheep but Des Clare from the Project has his sights on more, once the money to complete the lease has been raised.

It may even prove an educational boost as one of his ideas is to create a woodland classroom for use by nearby Discovery Academy and Pinfold Primary School.

Des also hopes to move a growing area to an area of wasteland they area bout to secure terms for, create a market square and sensory garden and massively boost the area for animals.

He said of the event from July 31 to August 2: “It was a very big success, for two of the days we were very busy.

“The idea was to put the garden in the map, so people know we’re here but also to raise funds to secure the lease.

“We’ve been given the lease but it costs about £1,600 to complete all the paperwork.

“At the moment we have an annual agreement with Tameside Council but as part of the lease, we’ll take over some land at the side of us.“We’re most of the way there but there’s another one at the end of this month.

“We’re going to extend the animal side of it, so we can have a community farm here. People will learn about gardening and grow their own food too.

“This was an event but hopefully there will be more. Hopefully we can bring that market feeling back to Hattersley. We can keep stalls here and will look to have events either every month or every other week.

“And there are a lot of micro-businesses around here – basically people working out of their own home. This can give them a window to display what they want to show.”

There are already events in the diary for the rest of the year.

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