Home Coronavirus: Community response Court Hey Park’s INCREDIBLE transformation
Cllr Graham Morgan with volunteers at Court Hey Park

Court Hey Park’s INCREDIBLE transformation

by Gemma Melling

It’s been just over a month since Incredible Edible started their new project at the former National Wildflower Centre site in Court Hey Park but in that short time, the team and an army of volunteers have taken huge steps forward in bringing the space back to life.

The team have tackled overgrown weeds and bushes to expose some of the unique elements of the space – including an outdoor seating area and even a wood-fired pizza oven. They have also cut back overgrown areas to improve sight lines so that visitors to the park can see the transformation unfold.

The team are utilising the existing poly-tunnels, planting aubergines, peas, chard, cabbages and potatoes and are preparing other areas of the site for more planting in the spring.

The project currently has 20 community volunteers working hard to restore the site to its former glory but they are always looking for more people to pitch in and get their hands dirty.

A shared vision for a real community asset

Volunteers at Court Hey Park

Karen Mower, Director of Incredible Edible Knowsley said: “We are so excited to be working at Court Hey Park and in helping to bring this space to life. When we first linked up with Knowsley Council on this project it became clear that we both shared a vision to create a real community asset here and that’s what we are all working hard to do.

“This is an amazing opportunity for the community to come in and help to restore this much-loved space. We’ve already had an influx of support from the council, and other organisations but we have also had lots of individuals offering their time, donations of plant pots and seed trays or their professional services. We are grateful for all the help and support, no matter how small, and the more help we get, the more we can achieve.”

About Incredible Edible

Volunteers at Court Hey Park

The Incredible Edible project encourages people to come together to grow their own fruit and vegetables, eat more healthily, learn a new skill and socialise. In the longer term, the project aims to help eradicate food poverty.

As well as the initial works to tidy up the space and ready it for the spring, the team have big aspirations for the site, which include an outdoor kitchen and classroom, giving members of the community an opportunity to gain qualifications in horticulture and learn how to prepare and cook the fruit and vegetables grown on site.

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council said: “Earlier this year we announced our intentions to develop the former National Wildflower Centre site into a community hub for the benefit of everyone. The progress Karen and her team of volunteers have made so far is astounding and their passion for creating a space, which is open and accessible to all, is infectious.

“I for one cannot wait to see this project grow in the coming months and years and would encourage anyone who might be interested to go down to the park and have a chat with Karen and her team.”

Karen added: “We’re open to everyone, people of all ages and abilities but we are particularly keen to get some local young people involved to help. There are some projects here that need creative input so we’d love some artistic youngsters to come and make their mark on the space. We want to be an inclusive place open to all members of the community so come and see us and help us transform this amazing space.”

Here’s how you can help

Volunteer – Whether you can offer regular support or just a one-off visit The team are always looking for volunteers.

Donate unwanted gardening equipment – Check in your sheds and greenhouses for any old plant pots, seed trays or gardening tools that still have some life left in them.

Donate professional services – There are a number of projects that require flagging and pathways and the installation of solar panels at the site. If you can help with any of these, please get in touch.

Donate or sponsor materials – the project is currently in need of:

– Wood to build raised beds and outdoor kitchen and classroom
– Cooking equipment
– An outdoor cooker
– Flagstones
– Tables and seating for outdoors
– Compost
– Seeds
– Mypex
– Lining for raised beds
– Gardening tools
If you can help with any of the above please contact Karen.Mower@knowsleygrowthhub.co.uk.