As Spring finally springs and more of us venture out to appreciate and enjoy our surroundings, Sara Chick talks us through her inspiration for getting Fairfield involved in the RHS ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ scheme – and invites other residents to also get involved.

“I am sure that you will agree that we live in a beautiful place. We benefit from lovely green areas, lots of mature trees and meadows. We have a community garden which is developed and maintained by volunteers and orchards that have been saved from ruin and that now provide a great environment for wildlife and a really special area for all to enjoy.

“As I walk around Fairfield I can also see the efforts that many of you have put into your own gardens. All of this contributes to making Fairfield, a special place.

“I am a keen amateur gardener, who appreciates what we have here at Fairfield, and as a member of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) I have been aware for many years of the schemes that they run to recognise and support community gardening. One of the schemes is called ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’. It is a non-competitive scheme that recognises community efforts, provides assessment of progress and advice and can lead to wider recognition.

“My proposal for Fairfield to join ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ was presented at the Parish Council community meeting in February and at the Fairfield Parish Council meeting in March. I’m delighted to say that my proposal was supported and I am now proceeding with Fairfield’s registration into the scheme.

“Existing community gardening and environmental projects can be brought together under the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ banner and new projects can be added. This will give greater profile for these schemes and hopefully generate wider interest and support. Community groups can participate individually or in partnership – wouldn’t it be great to see cross-generational groups working together on a project? It will also enable Fairfield people who are interested in gardening to volunteer to join the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ team.

“My role will be to help existing and new groups to prepare the project registrations and to support you in putting forward new proposals. I will also be doing some volunteering, of course. If you would like to learn more or register as a volunteer I will be at the Community Market at the Urban Park on Saturday 2nd April, and I’ve also been invited to speak at the Annual Parish meeting on 18 May.”