Giggleswick Gardening Group (GGG)

Giggleswick North Yorkshire

Your story

Community volunteers are tidying up our village

Group introduction

The GGG of eight regular members carry out gardening and other tasks was established to enhance the appearance of the Church of St Alkelda’s grounds that were falling into disrepair after a number of years neglect. In 2014 an ongoing diary of work done by the volunteers was recorded. In 2015 a total of some 700 hours were put in! A minimum of one day per week throughout the year with several extra days during the growing season is our usual commitment. Four other people tend small flowerbeds. We organised two ‘Tidy-up Days’ a year when members of the Giggleswick community are encouraged to help with the work in the churchyards.
Some years ago a Wildlife Management Plan was prepared for the Church grounds. It is being followed plus additional projects.
The removal of ivy that was spreading from the south wall causing a partial obstruction for road users, clearing invasive vegetation and reseeding with grass together with the planting of primroses, snowdrops and foxgloves has resulted in many agreeable comments from members of the village and the many visitors to the area. (Russell Harty’s grave seems to still be a magnet!)
Regular weekly lawn cutting (some by push-mower) has enhanced the approaches to the Church. The Memorial Garden stones have been revealed, a wall rebuilt and a derelict part planted with wildflower seeds. This also brought many favourable comments.
The Hay Time Officer from the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust visited to advise on developing further parts of the grounds for wildflowers and to encourage wildlife with the aim to make the grounds more attractive to visitors. This year small areas have been prepared and seeded, with seeds gifted to the GGG, with the help of nine children from Gigglewick Primary School.
Some members of the group go further afield within the village by doing such jobs as removing (on behalf of the Parish Council) redundant tree guards close to the River Ribble, litter picking routes and cutting back brambles on lanes and public footpaths.
Our aim is to develop areas where local people and visitors from afar can sit, relax and reflect in the centre of Giggleswick’s amazing facility.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

The impact on the local community would be for all ages. Having the local school children involved has generated enthusiastic comments such as “I told my mum what we were doing at St Alkelda’s today and I am going to look at the plants when they grow” and “I’m going to bring mum and dad to see what we have done”. The GGG will be encouraging the children to come and help with watering. The impact will be, hopefully, reaching beyond our local community as visitors to the area learn about our work.
Visitors to the Church and Gardens regularly approach us to comment on the improved appearance and beauty of the area that the GGG is attempting to develop. The team is often asked questions about the graveyards, the history of the village and church and surrounding area of The Dales. Visitors, in turn, also provide knowledge about long forgotten families or want to learn more.
The tools we use are all brought by members of the team (except for a mower and grass-trimmer) to each gardening session.
We desperately need to replace our own wearing out equipment with a pool of community gardening tools:
4 Garden trugs (plastic)
2 spades
2 forks
4 Lawn rakes
4 Hay rakes
4 garden rakes
4 Kneeling pads
1 battery operated grass-trimmer
1 Wheelbarrow
2 Edging shears
2 hand shears
2 secateurs
1 lopper
2 wire brushes, sandpaper, and wood preserver (for renovating neglected benches)
4 litter pickers
The provision of the above equipment will ensure that people who wish to contribute some of their time to enhancing their village’s appearance will have access to the tools required.
The tools will be kept in one of two locked stores either in the Church grounds or the Parish Rooms.
By involving the local children in some of the projects it will hopefully encourage them to take a pride and follow the interests of adults in caring for their community facilities for years to come.
We are already aware of the cut-backs in the provision of numerous services relating to the work of our local authorities and National Parks so voluntary groups of local people such as ours can, hopefully, maintain and possibly improve our local area.
It is difficult to estimate the number of people it will both directly and indirectly affect, but by the amount of publicity this Grassroots Giving award scheme would affect:
• The local community by enhancing their village
• Encouragement of more visitors from the British Isles and abroad to the area
• By bringing more people to Settle and The Dales it will contribute to the local economy through tourism.

"GGG hopes to expand and develop our dedicated team of volunteers to serve our community in Giggleswick"