Queen’s Crescent Garden News
Queen's Crescent Garden Project – Latest News...
The setting up of Exeter St James Community Trust Ltd, of which we would encourage any of you who have not yet become members to do so simply by purchasing a minimum of five £1 shares, was a vital step forward as this not-for-profit community registered society, with its charitable status, has been approved as appropriate to take on the legal responsibility for the garden.
But, apart from this, it has been a frustrating time for all of us since the revelation last summer of the exciting and ambitious Masterplan for the garden, to which so many in the local community had contributed their views. We have been itching to get going, but before we can start applying for the funding required for Phase One, the ownership issue needs to be resolved.
Behind the scenes Exeter City Council's legal team has been investigating all possible leads in the hope of establishing the current owner. We have now been advised that planning permission for change of use of the garden to Public Open Space, is necessary before ECC can commence the compulsory purchase order. The application is being prepared and, very soon, it will be submitted and notices will appear in the garden as well as in the press.
It will be very important that letters of support for this application are sent to the council, so we hope that many of you will show your support in this way. For those of you who would prefer to use suggested wording, a sample letter will be posted on the website once the application has been submitted.
If you've passed by QCG lately we hope you will have been impressed by the heartwarming sight of people enjoying the garden for a range of sociable activities, encouraged by the verdant, well-cut grass that looks so welcoming. A small group of faithful volunteers has been mowing the grass as necessary using the excellent petrol mower that was kindly donated by a local resident for the purpose. Would you be able to help with this task? Use of the mower is restricted to Mon – Fri working hours as the mower is stored, by kind permission, at ECI in York Road. If you would like to help, but in the evening or weekend, there are other jobs we would love to have help with such as strimming the edges and weeding the outside perimeter walls. Do get in touch.
A group of ten 13 to 17 year old police cadets have kindly agreed to give up an afternoon of their half term holiday to work in the garden. They will be given specific tasks, supervised by PCSOs and joined by members of the University of Exeter's Grounds Team who will lend tools, offer advice and take away green waste at the end.
We have been offered help by Exeter Round Table which we have been delighted to accept – more news of this once finalised!
We are delighted that more and more members of the community, within St James and wider afield, are coming forward to help advance the QCG Project. If you have contacts with groups who might be interested in helping, do encourage them to get in touch. There are opportunites for all to help in different ways. We expect a choir to use the garden for an open rehearsal later in the summer – this will be another chance to inspire the community to consider imaginative and appropriate use of the garden.
Date for your Diary!
Thursday, 28 May, 2 – 4pm TEA IN THE GARDEN!
To coincide with the afternoon of practical work by the police cadets on 28 May, we shall be holding a less energetic event in another section of the garden! The key aim is to raise awareness of passers-by and encourage offers of support and involvement in the QCG project and in ESJF and ESJCT more generally, but at the same time swelling the QCG funds. PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN!
As well as information stands, TEA AND CAKE will be available, so people can relax and get a feel for what this community space has to offer. We are endeavouring to arrange some suitable live music to enhance the ambience.
This is a busy time of year for gardeners and there will be PLANT SALES where we hope everything from tomato plants to popular annual bedding plants, to some more unusual perennials (word has it that a tree peony may be available for a lucky early bird!).
We hope that many of you will be able to drop in, and we would welcome offers of help on the stalls or just to welcome and talk to passers-by who are unaware of our project. ALSO – we really are counting on our members to donate cakes, biscuits, scones etc and plants of any description (maybe not weeds!). It would help and encourage us if you could let us know of your contribution in advance, but if you don't have time, don't let that stop you donating unexpectedly on the day!
There will be gazebos should the weather decide not to cooperate, but we are expecting glorious sunshine!
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