PEOPLE with disabilities can now enjoy the delights of gardening in a quiet borough backwater.
They can grow their own flowers, fruit and vegetables in a special haven that has been created for them on the Newdigate Road Allotments site in Bedworth.
A bridge over a wildlife pond leads to eleven raised beds, a four station potting shed, large greenhouse and a sensory garden.
They also have specially designed tools which compensate for their disabilities and make it easier for them to tend the plots.
Basil Heatley, Bedworth’s most successful athlete was invited to officially open the special garden.
He won the silver medal in the marathon in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Now a keen gardener, he has taken an interest in and has been a staunch supporter of the `ability garden’.
Tributes were paid at the opening ceremony to the `magnificent seven,’ the group of plotholders and volunteers, whose vision it was and who did most of the work themselves.
The names of Con Dillon, Les Blower, Rob Cammack, Steve Coupland, Bill Gilbert, Bob Dewis and James Jackson are all commemorated on a plaque that Basil Heatley unveiled at the entrance to the garden.
The garden was designed by Elizabeth Connelly and James Cairncross from the Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, whose names are also on the plaque.
Rob Cammack was the project coordinator, but he said: “It was a real team effort by everyone concerned.”
He added: “We are now looking at ways of encouraging people with disabilities and disadvantaged individuals to come along and use the garden.”
The new garden area has been created from two waterlogged and unusable plots.
“We decided four years ago that we were going to have an `ability garden’ and the area has been completely transformed,” said Rob Cammack.
“The volunteers have worked really hard and what they have produced is truly amazing.”
Members of the Newdigate Road Allotments Association are renowned for their `spadework’ and for helping and encouraging plotholders.
Over the years they have created a memorial garden for plotholders, who have died, built a new toilet block large enough to cater for wheelchairs and have cemented close relationships with local schools.