Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Welcome to our blog about the transformation of a piece of waste ground into a nice relaxing place where folks can chill out and enjoy the sunshine.

Before anything is said about the transformation, we must say thanks to our friend and advisor Stewart Beck who runs the John Muir Trust. Stewart and his team helped with much of the work in setting up the garden during the very wet winter of 2015/16 and has also assisted us in being able to have this blog which we hope will be of interest to all.

The community garden in Mitchell Street has been brought about by Beith Orr Park Neighbourhood Watch and has been assisted by many of the businesses in the town and district who have contributed much in the way of machinery and time, not forgetting lots of the major materials, troughs and barrels, seats, benches, bandstand, litter bin, water container compost bin etc.

There is a small group who are dedicated and look after and developing the garden; also lots of kind folks have donated many of the shrubs and plants for the banking.

Beith Christian Aid Thrift Shop, Co-operative Funeral Care and North Ayrshire Council have helped us by donating funds which enabled us to lay the foundations of this restful and peaceful place. Also we have received many donations from local folk as well as visitors to the town.  The help and assistance we have had from everyone has put it mildly - FANTASTIC!

The owner of the ground has been kind enough to allow us to use the ground until such time as he has  plans to develop the site for his own use

This blog will develop as soon as we learn how to use it, for the meantime please be patient and the results and photos will speak for themselves.

This picture was taken just before the official opening in May 2016 by Dr Audrey Sutton of North Ayrshire Council.

This has been an exciting project and has given the people of Beith and visitors to the town a lovely place where they can relax, have a picnic or simply sit and chat.

The area was previously the site of "The Coach House Hotel" and after it was demolished, it became an eyesore and had become a dumping ground for all sorts of rubbish.

We will begin at the stage where the local Scouts litter picked the site during the annual litter 2015. We usually organise the annual litter pick at the end of April.

On approaching various businesses in the town who might be able to assist with the transformation, they all responded positively.

Various drawings for the site were provided by Guy Tulloh and the final design decided on.

The next step was to see if we could raise some funds to transform the site. The response was fantastic and North Ayrshire Council provided a grant as did the Christian Action Thrift shop and
Co-op Funeral Care.

We therefore made a start with clearing the site. This was carried out by Martin McLeod using his JCB and in only a few hours he completely cleared the front of the site by piling up all the removed soil, bricks and other debris at the back of the site. This raised area was destined to become the area where we had intended to have a bandstand and in better weather we could have bands or choirs performing on Saturdays.

At this point the Criminal Justice team helped. They were followed by the John Muir Trust group who worked every Tuesday afternoon to clear the site of any further impediments.

Once we started to have the soil delivered (the donor does not wish any publicity) we worked over the winter levelling the soil which was followed by edging being installed and 2 bench seats being installed. While this was going on we experienced a lot of nasty days, mainly with rain but not too much wind.

Regardless of conditions the team turned up and simply did what was necessary. It is good to record that several members of the group have managed to obtain full time employment following their involvement in the garden.

The local Whisky Bond donated spent barrels which were duly cut and made into planters.

Bench seats were made and installed. Steps were provided by Hillhouse Pre-cast and sited on the raised area to allow easy access.

Troughs were provided by farmers and other individuals.

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