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Green-fingered Ryde volunteers dig in at the Co-op

Volunteers and organisations from around Ryde got together on Thursday (19 May) to transform the old flowerbeds around Ryde’s Co-op store in Anglesea Street. With support from local gardening guru Mike Fitt OBE, volunteers from the Vernon Square Conservation Society joined staff from the Co-op store to prepare the beds and plant out a wide range of flowers and plants.

Many local organisations joined in to support the project including Ryde Town Council and the Ryde High Street Heritage Action Zone. Several tonnes of locally-made compost were donated by English Heritage at Osborne House, and sustainable plants were given by The Coastal Gardener.

Nearby Crepe Lovers café offered hot drinks to the thirsty workers, and the Co-op store provided willing staff to help with the digging. Some of the heavier work was done by the Isle of Wight Council’s grounds maintenance contractor John O’Conner Ground Maintenance, supported by the council’s parks officer Kristian Horlock.

Mike Fitt explained: “This area used to be a dismal place full of weeds until last year, when we did a quick makeover and started making it better. This year, we’re doing it for real with perennial plants, and particularly pollinating plants that will not only look good to Ryde shoppers, but do some good to the environment.”

Ryde Volunteers outside the CO-OP

Ryde Volunteers outside the CO-OP

Ryde Co-op team manager Sabiane Grant said: “This is great. It’s really nice to see colleagues getting on board and working here in the heart of the community. Everybody has come together and made this walkway look so much nicer.”

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