BELVILLE COMMUNITY GARDENS, GREENOCK
Residents in the Belville area of Greenock campaigned and fought for years to prevent an area of derelict land they live near becoming an unwelcoming place and eyesore despite the stunning location with views across the Clyde. They formed an action group to source funding from the ‘Our Place’ Big Lottery fund in order to transform the derelict area, previously congested with high flats to turn it into a community garden. The gardens are accommodated horizontally across a steep sloping site, retaining the original road as a spine and level access artery linking East to West.
At the core is a secure container based learning pod fully equipped with classroom, kitchen, office, WC and storage space. The pod opens at either end providing external learning space over a raised timber deck platform and access to external storage.
The gardens include a number of raised timber planters formed in timber and constructed locally by Inverclyde Community Development Trust providing skills, learning opportunities and construction experience for disadvantaged people in the area. Planters are provided in a variety of shapes and sizes to ensure inclusion of gardeners of differing age, ability and physical capability.
The majority of planters are also portable giving the opportunity for movement to meet future demand or should additional space on the site be needed for special events. Gabions are used to divide the site and retain ground while decorative fencing provides both a secure barrier against the steep slope and viewing platforms that frame the beautiful views across the River Clyde.
Belville community garden is now a thriving and lively place with many local people visiting the area. Belville Community Garden coordinates local school biodiversity and environmental projects including John Muir Awards, community arts and health projects as well as connecting similar third sector organisations across Inverclyde.