This is a letter written to the RHS in response to a request for IYN groups to send in information about their activities during lockdown.
I am a committee member and active volunteer with the Exmouth in Bloom group. In addition to my extensive involvement with the EiB, I help and support two IYN groups. The Swan Project, Exmouth and Littleham Primary School, Exmouth.
These two IYNs are wonderful projects which I am proud and pleased to be part of and would like to forward their names for recognition of what has been achieved by them this year.
The Covid 19 situation has challenged all of us and the ongoing complexities of working with Councils, volunteers and all the new regulations is difficult for all concerned. I’m pleased to say that my experience here in Devon, despite the roller coaster, has been a very positive one, with everyone being as proactive as they could be, given the restrictions.
The story so far……
This year at the Swan Project.
Exmouth in Bloom volunteers maintain this lovely timber-sleeper raised border together with the mural of the Exe Estuary. Having taken charge of the area, by arrangement with South West Water, the planting holds interest and colour throughout the year and together with the mural and the iSpy board has become a much visited place for selfie photos and holiday makers.
This year at Littleham C of E Primary School, Exmouth.
The year started as usual with planning and border preparation. EiB member Graham Bell, who organises weekly gardening classes, began as usual with seed sowing in the polytunnel in early March. (There is no artificial heating here).
The children have competitions with Sweet Peas, sown in Autumn, and in early March, with Sunflowers and Pumpkins. Potatoes, onions and shallots were planted then. But sadly, because of Corvid 19 the School closed and the children were unable to continue with their gardening. However, before Lockdown was strictly enforced, it was arranged that Graham Bell together with is partner Sue Legge, a teacher at the school, would continue to maintain the garden until the children returned.
This is still the case to the present, with all their plant competitions continuing to develop and all looking good.
In the meantime, it is also hoped that much of the produce can be harvested by teachers and those few children who have been attending during lockdown. A special day-visit is planned for pupils to say goodbye to their friends and to meet their new teachers. This will be arranged before the summer holiday break. We know that they will be amazed at how their plants and vegetables have grown!
I am sure that this gives you a familiar picture of what is happening all over the country but I am proud to share our story with you.
Exmouth in Bloom