Royal visit to Ayrshire community garden

Residents and school children from an ex-mining town in Ayrshire were delighted recently when the the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay came to help celebrate the grass roots success of their popular, local community garden, during a very special open day for charity Scotland’s Gardens Scheme.

Their Royal Highnesses visited Netherthird Community Garden near Cumnock, meeting volunteers, local residents and school children, all of whom benefit from the horticultural ‘oasis of calm’ built on a path of scrub land next to Netherthird Primary School.

The garden, the brainchild of Margaret Campbell, was set up in 2010 and is helping to transform the lives of many local residents. It opened to the general public for the first time this year to raise money for charity through the Scotland’s Gardens Scheme and this second, special opening welcomed the Royal couple. The Duchess of Rothesay is the President of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme and the Prince Charles’ Foundation recently provided funding for a wooden gazebo seating area in the garden.

The green-fingered project helps a host of community groups, including the local school and the Riverside Adult Education Facility. Netherthird Community Action Training also use the facility to assist young people gain employment skills and training to help them compete in the jobs market. They all get to enjoy the colourful cottage garden and flower beds, productive vegetable garden and play area and café.

Margret was delighted to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay to Netherthird Community Garden explaining that the visit meant a great deal to all the volunteers and to the community.

Terrill Dobson, National Organiser for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme commented: “This project proves how beneficial gardens can be; spaces for learning, healing, supporting and having fun. Netherthird has such strong community support behind it which is wonderful to see and we’re thrilled the garden opens to the public as part of our scheme.”

Banner: Their Royal Highnesses with Ian Marshall (garden volunteer)
Middle: Their Royal Highnesses meeting volunteers from the Riverside Community Education Centre.
All Photographs ©Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, credit: Robert Davis