A ‘beautiful’ Peace Garden in a Nottinghamshire village which pays tribute to the brave military personnel who served their country has been completed.
The quiet, green space on the Rectory Field in Keyworth has been created to remember those who have fallen and is located close to the striking Memorial Gates – which bear plaques featuring the names of the village’s war heroes.
Nottinghamshire County Council contributed £4,825 from its Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) towards the project, which was jointly funded by Keyworth Parish Council.
The newly-created garden features three benches – commemorating the two World Wars – and was designed and developed by local not-for-profit company Branch & Bloom Gardening in conjunction with Keyworth Environment Group, Keyworth Parochial Church Council, Keyworth Gardening Association, Keyworth Conservation Area Advisory Group and the Parish Council.
Councillor John Cottee, chairman of the county council’s Communities Committee and Keyworth Division member, said the Peace Garden is a ‘wonderful’ tribute to those who gave their lives.
He said: “I am delighted that Nottinghamshire County Council, with funding from our Local Improvement Scheme, has been able to support this fantastic project, which truly has been a real community effort driven by local people for local people.
“Service personnel from Keyworth and our great county fought in the two World Wars and gave their lives for the freedom we so richly enjoy today and the Peace Garden is a wonderful tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
“I would like pay tribute to everybody involved in this project, who have created what is a delightful quiet, green space, and I’m sure it will be enjoyed by the people of Keyworth for many years to come.”
Cllr Tamsin Armour, chair of Keyworth Parish Council, said completing the project was the culmination of work which began several years ago and was originally started by Keyworth Parish Council, with the Royal British Legion and Keyworth Environment Group.
She said: “It’s finally come to reality after many, many years thanks to funding from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme and Keyworth Parish Council and the wonderful work of Branch & Bloom.
“People love it and we’ve only had positive things said about it. It just looks really beautiful and with it being situated by the Memorial Gates, we’re hoping it will be a place where people can come and sit and reflect.
“We could not have done this without the help and support of our county councillor, John Cottee.”
Branch & Bloom is a community interest company set up during the Covid-19 lockdown by Nicola Twidale and Amanda Ramsay, who spent a week creating the Peace Garden in September.
Nicola said: “With the planting, we wanted to create something with interest all year round by using lots of shades of green to make it a peaceful and tranquil place.
“We’re passionate about the value of access to green space and how it can make people feel better and more relaxed.”
Amanda said the garden could be hugely beneficial for people’s mental health.
She said: “What has been really lovely is that while we were working on it during that week, we got to speak to a lot of locals and discussed not only the garden but listened to their wishes about greening up the area in general.
“It was really, really, good to have that contact with people. We’ve seen a lot of people using the garden, from children sat on their phones to adults meeting after their clubs at the Village Hall, which is really lovely.
‘All in all, as a community project we think it has been well worth doing.
“Post-Covid, when people may be a little bit hesitant to go out, they can come to the garden and sit, socially distanced and still have a chat with each other.”
The Peace Garden was officially blessed during the village’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations on Sunday 14 November.