Just over a year ago gardeners and generous givers joined together to begin a special village project, Gunnislake Community Memorial Garden. Cash and horticultural hard work has led to a much improved formerly neglected sloping bank at St Anne’s Church in the heart of the village. Regular volunteers from the church and community, have battled the brambles and invasive ivy to clear the site. As the money came in through individuals, community groups and Friends of Calstock Churches, the volunteer gardeners have been regularly planting a selection of small trees, shrubs and ground cover plants. Spring bulbs and primroses should be a cheerful sight flowering on the roadside wall next spring.

The Rector, Rev Chris Painter, recently unveiled the memorial plaque listing those lovingly remembered through generous donations. He said, “Not only has there been the donated money but there have also been donations of compost bins, garden design ideas, chain saw expertise, plenty of back-breaking weeding and the services of a local rubbish clearance firm and of a local sign-maker. We are grateful to everyone involved.” He also said, It’s been a fantastic example of the church and local community supporting one another, and as a church we are committed to supporting the needs of the local population, whether they’re people of faith or not. This village, with the church at its centre, is for many the first community they encounter when they cross the Tamar – this sends out a strong signal about how well our Cornish communities work and care.”

Chair of Gunnislake Community Matters’ It’s Your Neighbourhood scheme, Carol Green added, “The reclaimed garden is a great example of improving and greening up our community by the community. It will now be an attractive entrance to the village and with the recycled pews around the churchyard a place to sit and enjoy the developing garden, remember loved ones and, of course, our stunning views of the Tamar Valley”. She continued, “What’s even more encouraging is that the Royal Horticultural Society has just assessed our It’s Your Neighbourhood scheme as outstanding. It’s certainly made all the hard work around the whole village very worth while”.