Strutts Logo Run by volunteers for Belper

Belper News Article 18th June 2014

Strutts Community Centre Grounds

When I talk about Strutts Community Centre it is usually about the building and what happens inside, but I would like to take this opportunity to mention the outside. It actually stands in 3.5 acres of its own grounds, and although much of the site is used for car parking, with around 100 spaces, the rest of the site has plenty of “green spaces”.

At the front, along the A6, we have cleared the shrubs and turned it over to grass. There is also grass at the side of the South car park and a large area where class rooms and the dining hall once stood, towards the railway line. At the rear of this is a “hidden garden” with a pond. To keep it looking neat and tidy all the grass needs regularly cutting and composting.

We have a greenhouse, and fruit and vegetable patches which we hope to use to supplement our catering activities. We have a fine Yew hedge at the front of the building which we are progressively trimming into a manageable shape.

There are five large London Plane trees along the A6, which are amongst the best specimens in Belper. We have planted another plane tree to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. There are also trees in the rear playground along Gibfield Lane. However, these trees cause problems for the building with vast quantities of leaves falling in the autumn, which we collect and compost. These leaves can block the gutters and drains which require constant maintenance.

At the Gibfield Lane end of the building we now have flourishing flower beds. In front of the old caretaker's house are more flower beds and there are tubs at the front by the Reception entrance.

It is important for Belper that this site, in such a prime location, should look at its best. We would like to go further and floodlight the building and trees to make a greater visual impact in the evenings. It is easy to take all this for granted as you go past the site but it requires considerable time and effort to maintain. It is thanks to our hardworking band of gardening volunteers that the outside of the site is becoming a credit to the community, but we need more help, so if you would like to join us please contact me at Strutts Reception on 01773 599993.

Thanks

Nick McLeod
Chairman of Trustees
Guardians of Strutts