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Bloomin’ good work!

Magna Housing was able to quite literally ‘lend a hand’ to a local community who want to brighten up their village with displays of planting.

L to R Graham Garner, Lewis Winn, Shane Garner

Lewis Winn, one of Magna’s gardener/handypersons, spent an afternoon helping residents of Winterbourne Steepleton to dig out a flower bed and put in plants that the village hopes will attract bees and butterflies.

The idea came originally from Shané Garner, who moved to the village a few years ago.  She said: “I liked the idea of entering Dorset’s Best Village award, but decided we needed to do something to brighten up the village a bit more.

“I developed a plan of working on five sites around the village over a number of months to tidy them up and put flowers in where we could.”

Shané identified a triangle of grass at a junction in the village and worked with children from Winterbourne Valley CE First School to develop the planting designs. 

She said: “We held a competition and the children were asked to sketch their ideas for the flower bed.  There were 49 designs entered to the competition, but they were all so good we felt they were all winners.

“In the end we combined a number of the ideas in the final design.  I gave the school a picture of what we hoped the flower bed would look like when it was finished and we gave them seeds to grow at the school.

“We had the idea of contacting Magna to help with this bed because we saw how well-maintained the area was around Hamlands where Magna has properties.  They keep the area looking very tidy.”

But the work doesn’t stop now.  Shané is very keen that all the work they have done so far will be maintained for years to come.

She added: “We’ve made sure that everything we have done is sustainable for the bit we have just done before moving on to the next part of the village.  So we’ve been involving others in the village to make sure someone looks after the sites once they are finished.

“The care home, Steepleton Manor, has been great, they let us use one of their rooms to come and get warm in when we were working in winter and even laid on tea and coffee.”

Lewis Winn said: “It was a real pleasure helping Shané and the other volunteers, they made me feel very welcome. 

“The ground was very hard and it took a lot of effort to dig out the flower bed, so I was glad I could help them make good progress.  We even managed to put some plants in before I left!

“I was honoured to help in the project and I look forward to seeing it in its full glory when I next drive past.”

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