Volunteers locked out of community garden

SHUT OUT -- Patrick Duffy outside the gates to Bulwell Hall Community Garden
SHUT OUT -- Patrick Duffy outside the gates to Bulwell Hall Community Garden

AN EXASPERATED man claims “blood, sweat and tears” poured into a community garden have counted for nothing — thanks to Nottingham City Council.

Patrick Duffy, of Grindon Crescent, Bulwell, was the driving force behind the Bulwell Hall Community Garden.

The site was a derelict eyesore and a haven for anti-social behaviour.

But in 2009, Mr Duffy and a band of other local residents decided to take action. Through all weathers, they worked the land and created what he dubbed “an oasis”. It staged dozens of community events

Now it has all come to an end with Mr Duffy claiming he has been locked out of the site by the council after a dispute over bills and the way the garden was being run. The committee has now collapsed.

“It’s a disgrace”, he said. “All our hard work has counted for nothing. I ploughed money from my own pocket into that site.”

The city council this week refused to go into the reasons behind the disbandment of the garden committee.

A spokesman said: “It is vitally important that the community garden continues to be accessible to local people.

“We have offered the Bulwell Hall Healthy Living Centre a licence to run the community garden, and we fully expect that they will take up this offer within the next few weeks.

“We have recently carried out repairs to the community garden and have been meeting with voluntary groups to engage their help with maintaining it.

“The former group who ran the gardens has now disbanded, and any outstanding debt has been written off.”