Gunnislake has become a whole lot greener this summer and has just received a top award from the Royal Horticultural Society.

The volunteer group, Gunnislake Community Matters joined forces with RHS campaign “It’s Your Neighbourhood” at the beginning of the year. The various gardening projects in Gunnislake were visited by RHS assessor Josephine Spring in late summer and her report has provided valuable feedback and helpful advice. At an awards ceremony in Newquay, Chair of the GCM It’s Your Neighborhood scheme, Carol Green, was thrilled to receive the RHS certificate of achievement at Level Five – Outstanding on behalf of the village. She said, “We are so encouraged by this brilliant award. It’s a unique scheme for volunteer-led community gardening projects which are focused on cleaning up and greening up our local area. It’s all about bringing members of the community together to make a positive change to where we live. Being recognised in our efforts by the RHS is icing on the cake”.

As a community, the project’s core pillars of community participation, environmental responsibility and gardening achievement have been met with a number of local gardening projects. There’s the flourishing Gunnislake Railway Station which has also just received an award. The station came second in the National Rail Awards for the Best Community Arts Scheme for the stunning community tile installation masterminded by local potter, Rosie Fierek. Then there are the colourful planters around the streets, village hall and car park, the Millennium garden, St Anne’s Church community memorial garden, Gunnislake Primary Academy’s wiggly hedge and den on Foster’s Field and the Greater Horseshoe Bat project.

As part of the scheme, volunteers of all ages have also developed a community edible garden in the centre of the village on the Orchard Green, next to the Surgery. In mid-February they planted six apples trees with strong local heritage links. They’ve got some wonderful names and characteristics: There’s Breadfruit, a dessert apple Miel d’or, a second early honey sweet dessert, both from the Tamar Valley, Cornish Pine, a mid to late dessert, Callington Gillyflower, a mid/late dual purpose apple, Cornish Aromatic, a late – after Christmas – sweet/sub acid dessert apple and Longkeeper from a tree in Luckett, a heavy cropper, very late dual purpose apple. The vegetables and herbs in the raised beds have yielded well this season for anyone in the village to help themselves and winter planting is about to take place.

The celebration continues next Saturday, 26th October, at 10 a.m. at St Anne’s Churchyard when the Rev Chris Painter unveils the memorial plaque in the new community memorial garden. Refreshments in the church hall afterwards.

OUTSTANDING! RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood Award