A new woodland garden was opened at The Vyne Centre for the Community by the Mayor of Woking, Cllr Saj Hussain, last week (Friday 17 June).
Joining the Mayor of Woking for the opening ceremony were local ward councillors, volunteers who helped build the garden, the RHS Wisley community outreach team and members of the local Knaphill community.
Works to create the garden began only days before the official opening by volunteers from RHS Wisley and The Vyne, and Year 10 students from Winston Churchill School. Volunteers got stuck in with clearing, weeding and planting all under the watchful eye of the RHS Wisley team.
The garden was a joint venture between staff and patrons of The Vyne and RHS Wisley’s community outreach team to upcycle an outdoor space into a new woodland garden. The project was intended to create a new community hub for Knaphill at The Vyne, to encourage people to return to the centre after the pandemic.
In March, an informal consultation was undertaken with patrons of The Vyne, enabling them to have a hand in planning the new space. Their chosen goals for the garden were to create a space for wildlife, a space to relax, and a space to get together. Reflecting this first goal, the garden has been constructed with local ecosystems in mind, featuring multiple bird boxes and bird feeders, as well as insect hotels to help support our local wildlife.
Cllr Ellen Nicholson, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Living Well, said: “Gardens and green spaces can have such a positive impact on our mental health. Is it important that we can all access beautiful outdoor spaces for our own health, as well as the health of the natural life and ecosystems around us.
“The dedicated team of volunteers have created such as wonderful, relaxing and calming outdoor space. It is fantastic that customers from The Vyne were able to have a hand in designing the new garden, making it a true community project.
“With summer approaching, it is the perfect time to pay a visit to The Vyne and admire the hard work undertaken by the centre, by students from Winston Churchill School, and by RHS Wisley.
“I would like to extend a thank you to Lettie Irving, Senior Community Outreach Advisor from RHS Wisley, and the whole of the RHS Wisley community outreach team for helping to bring this garden to life.”
At the opening event the Mayor, Cllr Saj Hussain, remarked that the garden had undergone a complete transformation and thanked all the volunteers for their hard work during the project, noting that it was a great way to end Volunteering Week.
The project was funded by Friends of The Vyne, who contributed £5,000 towards materials, and a grant from RHS Wisley which covered labour costs.