YPWD were offered the opportunity for the shared use of a building and a half acre of grounds at the Old Rectory in Padworth. Our vision was to use the grounds and the building as a multifunctional venue, allowing us to provide a range of activities during the year. There was a good deal of preparation required, and with the help of the Old Rectory's owner Brian (whom was using the grounds as a place to store plants from a garden centre that he’d purchased) we sorted and removed the plants that we couldn't rescue then levelled the ground. We were able to secure a little funding and this allowed us to purchase two sheds (one for storage and one for workshop activities), and a poly tunnel which, again with the help of Brian and his team, they put down hard standing which gave us the chance to put up the tunnel on a levelled and appropriate base, making it safe and secure.
The workshops are held on Mondays, and the building is a great place to all meet and start the workshop with a coffee or tea, and it gives us a chance to discuss the plans for the session ahead with everyone.
The summer was very hot which gave us the excuse to get outside as much as possible and one Monday one or two elected to go inside to bake and at lunch time we were all treated to fresh scones jam and cream all packed in a picnic hamper. This freedom to deliver multiple activities has been hugely beneficial, and delicious too!
We were very busy through the Summer making raised beds from scratch, then painting and filling them readying for a planting plan.
As Autumn came around the weather began to get colder, and we were able to start to make more use of the buildings. Participants were able to take part in baking or art, and with the use of the large shed we also were able to offer wood working or taking a bicycle to pieces in readiness to be painted bright colours and reassembled to grow plants over it.
As 2020 comes around we are to launch “Veg in a Bed” where participants grow vegetables for our use with any surplus being sold on to create funds to continue the project. As you'd expect there is also a lot of planting to be done for our newly planned sensory garden and cottage garden area. Unfortunately the current social distancing means we are unable to do everything we want to at Padworth, however we'll be right back there as soon as we can to continue to all work together to build on the site's successes already.