The CUMNOCK Gardening Club is encouraging locals to take up the hobby by emphasising the mental benefits it will bring to the more vulnerable and elderly post-lockdown.

Cumnock Gardening Club is a sub-group of the Cumnock Action Plan, which usually meet once a month at the Barrhill Centre.

With anecdotal evidence suggesting lockdown may have inspired a spike in gardening, the Cumnock Gardening Club now hopes more will take up the past-time and enjoy the mental benefits of spending time outdoors.

Club member John Senior said: “My main reason for doing gardening was to improve the look of Cumnock so people would be proud of the area.

“We are very lucky with what we have in the way of green spaces. If we make them nicer, hopefully people won’t vandalise them as much.

“There are three parts to the group. Trying to learn a bit more about gardening, reducing social isolation by trying to get elderly people who to take an interest in gardening and doing bits around Cumnock to make the town look nicer.”

Before lockdown, the group planted 600 trees in Woodroad Leisure Park, with 800 pots still to be planted. In recent weeks they have been assisting the council by stepping in for seasonal workers to plant flower beds in the local area.

John said: “The beauty of it is that you can do it on your own so it doesn’t pose a risk to yourself or anyone else. It’s a great socially distanced past time and it has been shown so often that gardening can have such good mental benefits.

“Social isolation is worse just now and it does make a tremendous difference to people’s mentality if we can get them out. We want to get more people interested in gardening and help them any way we can.”

With garden centres reopening as the country begins to enjoy more relaxed lockdown measures, John hopes this will give people a much-needed social outing but admits they may not prove popular with everyone.

John said: “More elderly members are reluctant to go to these places because they’re liable to be filled with lots of people. But I’m sure we’ll all be itching to buy things.”

Neil Given, member of Cumnock and District Area Gardening Facebook group, said: “I doubt I’ll be going a trip to many garden centres soon, it’s really past the season for doing that.

“Gardening is just great for exercise and for getting out into the outdoors during this time.”

If you are keen to get gardening, contact John Senior on 07595894028.


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