In the Spring of 2009 Amanda King, Manager of Bungay Library, suggested that Sustainable Bungay might like to develop the underutilised courtyard space into a community garden, and we were delighted to accept. Ideas began to take shape as the year progressed. Also on the horizon was a Permaculture course, which we hoped would enable members to learn about Permaculture principles and apply them to the courtyard project (and a host of other things of course!) The course took place in January 2010 – a wonderful weekend run by Graham Burnett which brought together a group of a dozen enthusiastic students from within and outside the group – and a Transition Theme Group was born!
In particular, Sara Johnson used permaculture ideas to compliment her experience as a garden designer and arrive at a draft plan; David Cantrill’s expertise as a structural engineer helped determine some of the physical characteristics of the new garden; Paul Jackson and Richard Vinton brought their knowledge to focus on selection of plants and their location. The profile of the project was boosted when Amanda and Nick Watts’ photograph accompanied an article on the front page of the Beccles & Bungay Journal on February 5th.
In order to give a voice to members of the public who would use the space, a display board was constructed and stationed in the library for most of February, including a post-it-note sticker board to record their wishes. This input was combined with our own ideas to reach a final plan which can now be seen on the display board in the library gallery.
The delay before starting hard-landscaping has been a little frustrating, but we now have Paul Coleman (“Coley”) on board to take charge of the bricklaying work. Amanda is on maternity leave but her deputy manager Kristian, plus Lucy and other members of staff have been very enthusiastic and we expect to be making giant steps towards the outline of the plan this summer. Donations from local organisations & businesses as well as members of the public have been made and promised – very encouraging – and we look forward to establishing a vibrant, productive community garden for all to enjoy.