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Bottesford Garden Association seeks new members in bid to save it

A village garden association that has been running for over 50 years is calling for new members to join in order to save it.

The Bottesford Garden Association is asking for more people to join and have an “active role”, so it can continue its role as a “big part of the village”, said member Joanne Cabannes.

The association runs an annual horticultural show as well as a horticultural shop, which is purely volunteer-led.

Previous horticultural shows held by the Bottesford Garden Association. Photo: Joanne Cabannes
Previous horticultural shows held by the Bottesford Garden Association. Photo: Joanne Cabannes

For the last two years, the association has not been able to run the show due to the Covid-19 pandemic – and it will not be able to carry on and put on the show this year unless more volunteers join.

Joanne said the association “desperately needs some volunteers”.

She added: “It’s such an integral part of the village. There’s a huge interest in gardening and allotments in the village.

“There’s also a lot of new people coming into the village and I don’t think we have the marketing resources to communicate with all of these new people.

“More people on the committee could help to do more things and help spread the word about what we can offer to new people coming into the village.

“Also, by people coming and getting involved with the show, we can make it bigger and better.

“It’s not just about the people who want to exhibit their vegetables and flowers, it’s about getting families involved.

“I think if we get that manpower, we can assign those roles.”

Joanne said it was two things that happened “relatively close to each other” that led the association to get to this position.

This was a combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and the loss of their chairman, Hugh Spencer, who was a “driving force of the association”, added Joanne.

After Hugh sadly passed away from throat cancer, the association has seen a “massive decline in involvement in the committee”, said Joanne.

She added: “When he passed away, and combined with the pandemic, it just really took the wind out of the sails of the association.

“It’s been really sad.”

The primary function of the group is to help gardeners and those with allotments in Bottesford and the surrounding area.

The shop not only offers garden goods such as compost, fertiliser, plants and much more, but also “information from hundreds of years of garden expertise”, added Joanne.

Sustainability is also a focus for the association and shop.

For many years the shop did not have electricity or heating, so it invested into a refurbishment programme using solar power.

Through this, volunteers installed a card payment machine that was run by a solar power battery.

Joanne concluded: “There were so many things we wanted to do pre-pandemic and so many things we still want to do.”

If you would like to get involved with the Bottesford Garden Association, it can be contacted via its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BottesfordGardenAssociation/

Those who join the association, it only costs £1 which gets them access to the shop, the shop’s resources, 10 per cent off at a local garden centre and much more.

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