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Raised Beds, Community Bench and Herb Gardens
We are a group of residents living at Edward May Court that would like to improve our outdoor space and facilities to encourage residents to get outdoors, light exercise with gardening and enjoy the fresh air. This will improve the appearance of our homes and enhance the feeling of pride and love for our environment. We would like raised beds to the front with a community bench, a new herb garden and revitalised outdoor space to the side of the building bu the bins.
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posted on 30 Jun 2022

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New Benches for Lansdown Road, Faringdon Community Group
We are the residents of Lansdown Road in Faringdon and we have a Community Garden which we look after, along with pots, plants and seating areas around the road.

The space is used by everyone, the younger to play and the older to sit, and enjoy the space. In June we held a Jubilee party in our community garden.

We are applying to the Your Community Your Choice project for two benches. These will help more residents be able to sit outside, enjoy the space, socialise and bring the community together. One bench will replace an existing one which is coming to the end of its life, and another will be nearer the building.

We love our community space and really enjoy coming together to grow plants, improving green spaces and providing games for the children to play with outside.
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posted on 28 Jul 2022

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Community Seating at a Housing for Older Persons Scheme
The London is a Housing for Older People Scheme in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Residents would really like to install new seating area in a shaded area of the outdoor space. This would be a place where residents could go to read, relax and socialize.

The idea is to replace the old shingle and ground sheet from the area shown in the picture with new shingle and a stronger membrane to try to prevent weeds from penetrating. New seating will then be added to create a quiet shaded seating area. This will include a bench and a love seat.

The project will cost £2058
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posted on 28 Jul 2022

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Manor Cottages Communal Area
BACKGROUND

STATUS

Manor Cottages, in Freefolk, Hampshire, were built by the Portals Estate in 1939, as tied cottages for staff employed at the paper making mill in nearby Overton. The 18 cottages make up a curved terrace more than 600 feet long – the longest span of residential thatch in Britain. The cottages have Grade 2 listed status, and have been within the Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council landscape conservation area since 1990.

Following a sell off of housing stock by Portals in the 1990’s, the cottages were initially purchased by Kingfisher Housing Association, before passing hands to Sovereign Housing Association, post 2007.

The properties, wishing wells, and adjacent bus stops were re-thatched over a 6 month period from June - December 2007, and the back gardens re-vamped by Sovereign Housing Association in 2013. Each property has a stretch of lawn allocated to it at the front of the cottages, and there is a communal area including allotments to the rear which, apart from some general ground maintenance, has remained untouched for at least the last 20 years! This area is therefore the focus of our bid to Your Community Your Choice.

PROPOSAL

The proposal is for eight separate projects, which aim to:

* Improve the communal area for the good and benefit of the residents. We feel this is especially important as we emerge at last from the Covid restrictions of the last 2 years, but in doing so currently (and probably for some time to come) face new and difficult challenges brought about by rising inflation and economic pressures which affect us all.

* Improve the quality of life for the residents by focusing on specific areas which have been sadly neglected, often for many years.

* Improve the look and feel of the area, giving a greater aesthetic appeal to the current residents, and also for those who will be offered tenancies in future years.

* Encourage wildlife and improve the biodiversity of the area by focusing on promoting wildlife habitat, including but not limited to re-planting an area with wild flowers and making wildlife habitats (i.e. bug houses and bird boxes).

* Promote the growing of vegetables on the allotment area, in such quantity that the produce can be shared amongst the residents.

* Improve access to the allotment area used by the residents No 9, who are our “senior” residents, thus making the area safer for them to use.


Cost: £10,000 - Currently waiting on Sovereign Contractor for final quote.

PROJECT 1 - SEATING AREA

STATUS

To the rear of the communal grassed area is a raised platform, which is very much under utilised, and is the focus of this project. It is currently used for storing items prior to burning or for disposal to the local recy-cling centre. The wood ash from any bonfires we have is ultimately used on the allotment area, as it contains potassium which is vital for crops.

Whilst residents do make use of this communal area on a daily basis, there is currently no where for them to sit and socialise, and keep an eye on the younger children when they play on this area.

PROPOSAL

(Option 1)

The proposal is to clear the area of weeds and growth, and construct a wooden platform 30cm high and measuring approximately 8.5m wide and 4.5m deep, which will house a covered seating area.

The platform should have a screen to the rear, to help prevent ingress of nettles/weeds. There should be a rearwards sloping roof to provide shelter, and possibly a wind out awning on the front edge.

A number of picnic benches will be installed on the platform, and these should each have a weather proof cover.

The construction of this platform and seating area will enable residents too get together socially, something that is not really viable at the mo-ment as no central hub exists. The simple act of having a sit down and socialising, especially during what are testing times with more to come, helps foster community spirit. The benefits to mental health and wel-fare by being able to support one another are beyond dispute.

(Option 2)

The proposal is to clear the area of weeds and growth and erect a screen to the rear, to help prevent ingress of weeds/nettles. The cleared area, measuring some 8.5m wide x 4.5m deep should then be levelled off and wooden decking laid down on a suitable sub surface. Picnic style benches should then be placed on the decking (each with a suitable weatherproof cover). Instead of building a covered structure as in Option 1, each picnic bench should have its own individual large um-brella, which can be removed and stored in the winter months. This op-tion will probably be more cost effective, and greater suit the needs of those residents who may have, or go on to develop) mobility problems, as the decking should be level with the grassed area.


PROJECT 2 - FENCING ENCOMPASSING ALLOTMENT AREA

STATUS

There is currently no natural barrier between the communal grassed area and the allotment area encompassing the potato patch and raised beds. Also at the access road end there is a “rough” patch of land, which requires digging over and re-planting.

PROPOSAL

To erect a lattice style fence along the length of the allotment area from the top of the potato patch to the access road. The fence will be approximately 15m long and 0.75m high. The fence will also run parallel down the opposite side of the allotment, and also run across the width of the area at the following points:

Top and bottom of the potato patch

Bottom of the raised beds )
encompassing the “rough” patch
Parallel with access road )

The “rough” patch of land (4.2m x 3.5m) should be dug over and re-planted with perennial wild flowers.

The construction of the fence will make the area aesthetically pleasing and create a clear barrier between the grassed area and allotment which does not currently exist.

The re-planting of the “rough” patch with perennial wild flowers will be beneficial not only to the allotment area, but to all those who grow garden flowers (just about everyone!). Wild flowers are known to attract pollinators which are vital to the environment, and this will work in tandem with the environmental project which is outlined later in these proposals.

PROJECT 3 - NETTLE SCREEN

STATUS

The area to the rear of the potato patch, beyond the narrow footpath, very quickly becomes overgrown with nettles, which can be very invasive and unsightly. Currently the nettles are kept in check by regular cutting back and strimming.

PROPOSAL

To erect a form of mesh screen to help prevent the nettles growing forward and making the path unusable. Whilst some cutting back would still be necessary it is hope it can be significantly reduced.

By having a screen in place and reducing cutting back, there will be less impact on the area to the rear. This will be beneficial, as it is already known to be a habitat not just for pollinators, but also for mice, hedgehogs and slow worms amongst others. Any cut nettles can either be composted or dug straight into allotment beds. They are rich in nitrogen and therefore extremely beneficial, especially to leafy vegetables.

PROJECT 4 - CLOTHES POLES

STATUS

The current clothes poles, which are available for use by all residents, have been in situ for well over 20 years, and in all that time they have not been renovated or replaced. Subsequently, they are showing signs of neglect, as the pulley systems no longer work, and clothes poles have to be used to raise washing to a height whereby it does not interfere with the raised vegetable beds.

PROPOSAL

To be of proper benefit to the community, the poles either need to have new pulley systems and lines retro fitted, or be taken out and replaced with new poles and pulleys. Given their age and the current state, the latter would be the preferred and most cost effective option.

The clothes lines get regular and sustained use, particularly in the summer months when bedding is hung out. By repairing/replacing the pulley systems, washing can be raised to a height where it does not impact on the allotment beds.

PROJECT 5 - VEGETABLE BEDS

STATUS

The vegetable beds above the turning area currently have no barrier round them. The addition of a lattice style fence 0.75m high, as used in Projects 2 and 6 will create uniformity.

PROPOSAL

To erect a lattice style fence measuring 5m x 4.2m approximately 0.75m high around these vegetable beds. The fence should encompass a hinged gate in the lower left hand corner for access.

PROJECT 6 - FRUIT PATCH

STATUS

The area encompassing the current fruit bushes has become overgrown, and in recent years the quality of the fruit has been poor. This entire area now needs to be completely re-planted with new and fewer fruit bushes.

PROPOSAL

To erect a lattice style fence, as per projects 2 and 5, 0.75m high and approximately 6m x 3m, with the long side running upwards from the access road. The top 3m side should have a 1m opening in the centre.

From this opening a 1m wide bordered gravel path should extend 5m towards the access road. This will then allow a complete re-planting on 3 sides of the area, each side being 1m in width.

PROJECT 7 - No 9 MANOR COTTAGES

STATUS

The area to the rear of No 9 Manor Cottages encompasses an allotment garden, lovingly tended over many years by our longest tenants in residence, (some 45 years)! Pat and Rodney Tungate. To make the area safer and easier for them to access, it is proposed to make some changes/upgrades.

PROPOSAL

There are 4 phases to this particular proposal, as follows:

Phase 1

The current grass walkway from the access road to the summer house (No 19 Manor Cottages!) is some 14.5m in length and 0.80m wide. During the winter months, and periods of wet weather, this path can become vey slippery and therefore pose a risk of slip or fall. The path should be replaced with a bordered gravel path, with a 1m high hand rail on the left hand side running the length of the path.

Phase 2

Approximately half way up the path is a wooden archway measuring approximately 1.1m wide x 2.9m in length x 2.4m high, with an opening of 1m on the right hand side as viewed from the road. The archway is in a poor state of repair, and overhanging branches/vines have become entangled in the structure. These branches/vines also have a nasty habit of falling onto the path and the surrounding area at regular intervals, and therefore pose a risk of injury. As such they require cutting back and removing, after which a new archway should be installed.

Phase 3

Above the vegetable patch adjacent to the access road is a wooden walkway, some 5.5m long and 0.5m wide. This is now in a poor state of repair and should be replaced with a bordered gravel path, with a 1m high hand rail on the allotment side of the path.



Phase 4

To the top of the allotment there is a second wooden walkway, also in a poor state of repair. This again needs replacing with a bordered gravel path, with a 1m high hand rail on the lower side of the path.

Collectively these works will make for a much safer environment for Pat & Rodney to carry on using their allotment patch, and as such we feel this work should be accorded a high priority.

PROJECT 8 - ENVIRONMENT

STATUS

Wildlife abounds in the area around Manor Cottages, especially to the rear of the property.

Muntjac deer can be seen in the fields immediately to the rear of the cottages and also over the road on the ground bordering the River Test. Indeed, they can be seen on occasion in the community area to the rear. They take a keen area in the allotment area, and woe betide anyone who does not put up protective netting around their runner bean plants!

Hedgehogs are common night time visitors, and the occasional badger has been known to visit. Toads are seen in the small brook that runs along the bottom front lawn, pipistrel bats can be seen at dusk during the summer months and the Barn Owl can be seen on occasion. Owls are heard almost every night in the trees to the rear, and buzzards and red kites are seen overhead on an almost daily basis.

Add to this numerous garden birds which abound, and it is something of a wildlife haven, and we wish to nurture and encourage more wildlife to the area.

PROPOSAL

In conjunction with Sovereign Housing Association, one of our residents has volunteered in looking into wildlife projects. These can include, but not be limited to:

* Nesting boxes of various sizes in the trees to the rear.

* Bug houses.

* Log houses/log piles.

* Re-wilding of certain areas

This list is not exhaustive, and can be added to at any


CONCLUSION

Whilst Manor Cottages are pleasantly located in the heart of the Test Valley, they do in some respects fall somewhat short in facilities for residents on the community side of things.

The grassed area to the rear, is used mainly by the younger members of the community as a play area, but it could (and indeed should) be so much more.

This is why the platform and seating area at Project 1 is considered to be a vital part of this process. It quickly became evident during the recent Covid restrictions that the lack of somewhere outdoors where we could sit and discuss issues (within Covid guidelines!), was an issue which needed to be addressed. With this proposal we feel it now has been.

The other projects, while mainly cosmetic, will add uniformity to the area, whilst adhering to the guidelines for living with a conservation area.

The project for No 9 Manor Cottages is considered of importance, if for no other reason than it will make for a much safer environment for them to continue tending their allotment.

The environmental project is something that will be a continually evolving process, and we are confident we will see progress being made with this on an annual basis.
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posted on 9 Jul 2022

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Communal Seating for Residents
A group of residents at St Johns Hill Flats in Ryde on the Isle of Wight would like funding to create a communal sitting areas.

The idea is to install a child's picnic table, an adult picnic table and a bench to create a communal seating area on the green space next to the flats. A picnic table will also be installed on the gravel area next to the washing lines. (Please see pictures).

This will provide residents, families and children areas so sit, relax and socialize, bringing the community together.

The cost of this project is £2514
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posted on 28 Jul 2022

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