Grimsargh Green £200,000 makeover is ‘labour of love’

From l-r: FOGG's only members,  Tony Cookson, Joyce Chessell and Peter Croft.
From l-r: FOGG's only members, Tony Cookson, Joyce Chessell and Peter Croft.

Residents, passers-by and visitors to Grimsargh Village Green will have noticed many changes having taken place in recent years - thanks to a dedicated bunch of volunteers who have not only spent hours labouring to protect and nurture the open space, but also fundraising to make it one of the most delightful greens of the area.

It is now a decade since The Friends of Grimsargh Green, known as FOGG, was formed to improve the green and make it accessible for everybody following Grimsargh Parish Plan. The plan highlighted the shortcomings of the green and a group of residents, now comprising just three - Peter Croft, Joyce Chessell and Tony Cookson - set about the project in earnest.

The revamped flower bed with the two "Gs" for Grimsargh Green.

The revamped flower bed with the two "Gs" for Grimsargh Green.

Peter says: “The green itself was in a dire state when we started. It was very poor, there was no proper parking either.”

There is now a path around the perimeter, suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, and a car park, with solar lighting. The centre piece is the children’s playarea, which needed a complete upgrade and refurbishment.

The green also encompasses Grimsargh Cricket Club, football pitch, and one of FOGG’s first projects was to create a new pond, with the original one turned into a natural wetland area.

Close by is the wildflower garden and willow weaving projects are on-going, one of which is a willow arbour and the other a willow tunnel.

Sometimes we thought we had bitten off more than we could chew, but at the end of the day it has all come good

Peter Croft

Part of the path takes you through a wooded area and the green boasts extra features, be it the “Welcome to Grimsargh” planter; the mosaic wall erected for Preston Guild 2012 which involved all the village’s primary school children; the wishing well with a map of Grimsargh and the plaque advertising village walks.

The latest features were completed in time for Grimsargh Field Day and included two new resin benches, the revamp of the old flower bed alongside Preston Road with two “Gs” standing for “Grimsargh Green” and to source stone on which to fix the Queen Elizabeth II plaque.

Peter says they still have two major schemes to carry out - draining the football pitch and re-visiting the wildflower garden.

They will also be bulb planting and are thinking about a “Bug Hotel” to provide a home for wildlife.

The playarea on Grimsargh Green.

The playarea on Grimsargh Green.

It is estimated the cost of everything provided on the green is in excess of £200,000, through grants, donations and fundraising.

And while the group has dwindled to just three, Peter says it is satisfying to see people of all ages using the green. “It has been a ‘chore of love’ but we have all enjoyed doing it. Sometimes we thought we had bitten off more than we could chew, but at the end of the day it has all come good,” says Peter.

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