For regular visitors to Lytham Hall’s parkland, the kitchen garden project has been fantastic to behold, as every week changes were visible in the area just behind the tea room. On Tuesday 9 May the project was officially opened, with a crowd of volunteers attending who can’t wait to continue getting stuck in. The garden is looking splendid and it is a real feature for visitors too.
Early in 2016 Lytham Hall project manager Simon Thorpe put in a bid to Tesco’s Bags of Help appeal fund, which Tesco’s customers were able to vote for when doing their shopping. The bid was successful and £10,000 was donated by Tesco for the development of a community kitchen garden next to the apiary. The plan contained 18 raised beds, space for soft fruit, herbs and potatoes, plus composting areas, cycle parking and five disabled car parking spaces.
Sue Lowe, the volunteer coordinator at Lytham Hall said: “Our dedicated team of grounds volunteers have laboured over the winter months, often in inclement weather, to construct the beds, fences and paving. It demonstrated what can be achieved by a small band of determined volunteers.”
They created disabled car parking places and got to grapple with plenty of root-bound soil. Local businesses were contacted to support the scheme, and generous offers followed from Barton Grange garden centre, Robinsons Seeds, Mahoneys, Sloggetts plumbing and Grantham signs.
The official opening of the kitchen garden was performed by Ms Emma Barrett, Tesco store manager, to loud applause of the gathered crowd. She was very pleased to see the plastic bag money being put to such good use.
A special appearance was made by Emily Clifton, a descendant of the Clifton family who once called Lytham Hall their home. She kindly took time out of her work schedule down south to join the festivities. Also attending the party, but uninvited, were the bees from the nearby apiary, who at the exact time of opening decided to swarm and join in the celebrations. However, the guests were not phased, as they wandered carefully through the garden and appreciated the results of so much ongoing labour.
We look forward to seeing the kitchen garden develop further over the summer and using the produce in our tea room. If you are interested in getting involved with the kitchen garden team, please contact Lytham Hall’s estate office on 01253 736652. Our thanks go out to Tesco Bags of Help fund, and our volunteers for making this project a reality.