(14 July 2021) A herb garden is now flourishing at the end of Ryde Pier, thanks to volunteers from Aspire Ryde.
Disused planters have been brought back into life by the charity to brighten up the Pier and support biodiversity. It is part of Wightlink’s Green Agenda, which incorporates wide-ranging initiatives to protect the environment.
Members of Aspire’s gardening team repaired and painted 16 planters at the Pier Head and filled them with a variety of herbs including oregano, mint, parsley, thyme and rosemary. To add a little extra colour, attract pollinators and deter white fly, marigolds were mixed in too.
Once the herb garden is established, commuters will be welcome to pick a few herbs on their way home to use when preparing meals.
Graham Gillham, gardening co-ordinator at Aspire Ryde, says: “We are really excited to work with Wightlink to provide a community herb garden at the end of Ryde Pier. Our volunteers thoroughly enjoyed transforming the planters to create a new habitat for insects, which not only looks great but will provide free herbs to the community too.”
Keith Greenfield, Wightlink Chief Executive, adds: “We are really impressed with Aspire’s work having partnered with them to create a wildlife garden at our Fishbourne terminal. It’s great to join forces with them again to create a community herb garden on the Pier. The volunteers have done a fantastic job and we look forward to seeing the new herb garden flourish.
“The Green Agenda is hugely important to us. While we have invested heavily in major changes to the way we run our business – such as the introduction of our hybrid energy flagship Victoria of Wight – smaller community schemes such as this herb garden and the greening of Fishbourne all contribute to our goal of working in harmony with the environment.”
Aspire Ryde’s gardening team operates through the charity’s ‘Growing Great Things’ initiative, funded by the People’s Health Trust. It aims to improve mental and physical wellbeing, reduce isolation and provide an opportunity for individuals to have fun and get to know new people.
Groups are led by a horticultural therapist and volunteer and include a wide range of gardening activities from seed sowing and taking cuttings to making raised beds and pruning shrubs.