Linburn Walled Garden: A Year On

27 June 2024
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A year on from our last blog about the Linburn Walled Garden and a lot has been going on!

One year ago, we shared a blog highlighting the start of the redevelopment efforts at the Linburn Walled Garden, located in West Lothian. A partnership project with Sight Scotland Veterans and Scottish Veterans Wellbeing Alliance partners, the garden is designed to create a safe space for growing and wellbeing activities for veterans, their families and the wider community.

A year on and what has changed? Well the garden has become more accessible, colourful and brought more people together!

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Helping Young People Engage (HYPE) is a West Lothian programme that supports young people to develop their personal, social and work skills to progress into further education, training and employment. They have supported the development of the garden through their Diggin’ It group, planting sensory gardens and building connections with the veterans and nature whilst also developing their own skills and gaining accreditations. The group was recently nominated and finalists for the YouthLink Scotland National Youth Work Awards under the category of Learning & Environment!

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Fruit trees and bushes have now been brought back to line the garden, these previously existed as part of the Defence Garden Scheme but are now being restored to their former glory. This is also the first year veg has been grown in the garden, thanks to the construction of a polytunnel. Previously produce specifically for the garden would be grown at Cyrenians Farm, a short walk away but the garden has now become self-sufficient. The community is currently working on growing potatoes, kale and rhubarb through the veg patch.

Linburn Walled Garden High PlantersNew and returning corporate and community volunteer groups have continued to help with the development, with work starting on the current internal paths to make them more refined pathways. The Robertson Construction Central East have provided support to make these paths more accessible for veterans, including access for wheelchair users so everyone can enjoy the garden. Accessibility has already improved with the introduction of high planters for those who can’t bend as much.

Linburn Walled Garden Bee MuralThe beautiful plants won’t be the only thing keeping the garden looking colourful, with consultation underway to create an art installation with veterans from Sight Scotland and Firefly Arts, a charity based in West Lothian who host a range of creative arts workshops for young people. Over the course of six weeks, veterans will work with an artist to gain insight into what matters to the community before creating the final installation. The bee area of the garden has seen the addition of a related mural, which was donated by a family in memory of their veteran daughter.

Our services continue to use the garden, with our Opportunities for Actives Live (OPAL) service returning this year to host their volunteer week celebrations. Fun activities took place such as foam axe throwing, bow and arrow target practice, getting lost in the work in progress wildflower maze and relaxing around the pond spotting tadpoles (previously the firepit)!

A year of further growth and community impact at our veteran-led garden has cultivated bonds, fresh produce and more! You can also be part of the redevelopment efforts in creating a community hub and safe space, whether you are a corporate group or an individual who would like to give back, make friends or learn new skills.

If you’re interested, you can find out more about corporate volunteering here and individual volunteering here.