Rishi Sunak has hailed the success of a community garden which provided fresh produce and a sociable focus point during the pandemic.
Members of Brompton on Swale Methodist Church created the garden and allotments in the grounds of the chapel to provide free fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits for the community.
The Richmond (Yorks) MP praised the initiative and hard work of the garden committee members who created the raised beds and planted them with a wide range of vegetables and fruit.
He said: “This is a fantastic idea which has brought the community together and used almost every inch of space to create a beautiful-looking and clearly very productive garden. I’m not a gardening expert but all the planting looks to be thriving and very healthy.”
Mr Sunak harvested some kohlrabi before being shown the allotments to the rear of the chapel which have been sub-divided into four small plots and rented out free of charge to villagers.
Arthur Wheeler, a member of the informal garden committee, said the idea for the garden was fellow church member Phil Clarke’s.
Work to create the raised beds at the front of the chapel in an area previously laid to gravel started in early 2020 when another church member John Peters sourced the timber.
With the help of a £500 grant from Richmondshire District Council, the group bought tools, a storage box, plants and seeds to get started.
Mr Wheeler said: “We were very pleased our MP could come and see what we have achieved. The garden has helped bring the community together during a difficult time and we hope it will be of lasting benefit to the village.”