VOLUNTEERS will now be able to easily maintain and improve the walled garden at Wollescote’s Stevens Park after the refurbished glasshouse was officially opened.

Dudley’s deputy mayor, Councillor Dave Tyler, and mayoress Barbara Tyler were on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon on the new greenhouse, which forms part of a project with borough charity Dudley Mind after it stopped being used by the council.

Under the guidance of Mind’s project manager Jill Hogan, more than 20 local people volunteer their time to look after that area of the park, while at the same time improving their own health, wellbeing and knowledge of horticulture.

Liz Stuffins, Dudley Council’s green spaces team leader, said: “The project is an excellent example of Dudley Council and the voluntary sector working in partnership to achieve joint goals.

“We are very proud to be working with Dudley Mind to support such an excellent programme of activity.”

Stephen Clark, chair of trustees at Dudley Mind, added: “This partnership is clearly bearing fruit, and with public funding becoming scarcer we need to make best use of the resources we do have.”

During the recent official opening ceremony, both Councillor Tyler and his wife spoke of their keen interest in gardening and of its benefits for physical and mental wellbeing and enthusiastically praised the scheme.

Mrs Hogan said: “The volunteers have done an excellent job improving the walled garden and now with the funding we received from Tesco’s Bags of Help fund we’ve been able to renovate this glasshouse to become a teaching and growing space.

“We also plan to grow plants for sale in the spring to help fund this project into the future.”