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August 21 2014.

Haven residents are invited get their hands dirty at an activity day being held next Wednesday, the 27th of August, at the newly created Community Space Garden at the Lewes Road Recreation Ground in Robinson Road, Newhaven.

The fun starts at 11.00am with family-friendly planting, seed sowing activities and cookery classes. You can also comment on the proposed plants and activities planned for the garden and tuck into a bowl of free soup, rolls and cupcakes.

Work began at the start of August to transform the under-used greenspace outside the recreation ground’s hut into a vibrant community hub and outdoor classroom for informal recreation, learning and enjoyment.

The project has created an outdoor classroom area, laid a concrete path for easier access, installed fencing, picnic benches and raised beds for growing edible plants. Over the coming months, fruit trees will also be planted, as will wildflowers and wildlife friendly plants, and activities for health and wellbeing will be provided.

Sussex Community Development Association (SCDA) has led the project, which is costing in the region of £40,000. Funding is coming from Lewes District Council and The Veolia Environmental Trust, who have awarded £30,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund.

SCDA is undertaking the scheme to meet needs identified by local people and groups, as well as in local action plans, including the Newhaven Open Spaces Strategy and the Newhaven Physical Activity Strategy.

Speaking about the start of work, SCDA’s Open Space Worker, Jessie Rodriguez, said: “This new community space will be a great boost to the community, especially to those without their own garden. It will create a relaxing space where people of all ages can meet up and get involved in doing something positive for their local environment whilst gaining health benefits.

“We have already consulted a wide range of people and organisations on what should be done and they have had loads of good ideas which will be put into action.”

The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, added: “This important project will bring many benefits for people and the local environment and we are pleased to be able to help make it happen.”