Chiswell Walled Garden
Chiswell Walled Garden is a community walled garden, located on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England. It is found in the village of Chiswell, close to Chesil Beach, within the remaining ruins of an old Jacobean house. The garden was made during the period 2001 to 2006 by the Chiswell Community Trust, with funding from Countryside Agency under their Doorstep Green Initiative. It is maintained by volunteer members of the Trust and is open to the public. Also managed by the Chiswell Community Trust is Chiswell Earthworks, located at the end of the promenade sea wall, towards West Weares, and at the end of Chesil Beach.
In 2001, the Countryside Agency launched their Doorstep Green Initiative which was a follow-on to a similar programme - Millennium Greens. In the South West region, a total of 25 Doorstep Green projects were commissioned, including the Chiswell Walled Garden. With the aid of generous project funding and personal help offered by the Doorstep Green Advisors, the project also included funding from The Local Heritage Initiative, Living Spaces, Awards for All and Breathing Places, whilst gifts were received from South West Regional Development Agency, Batten's Solicitors, the NCCPG and many of the project volunteers who laboured on the site.
In 2001, the old village common, which was once a large greenfield site, received permission to go to a housing corporation for development. As a result of the reaction from local residents in Chiswell, a group of residents asked the Doorstep Green advisors to help find another site in the village which would be suitable as a green space. Two Bristol advisors encouraged the group to apply to the Weymouth & Portland Borough Council for a long lease on a derelict walled compound near the beach. In 2003, local people of Portland formed a Trust, and with the help of the Countryside Agency, the Chiswell Community Trust acquired the derelict site to use for their Green site.
The project was reported to be one of the smallest and most difficult of the South West's community greens. Since completion, the Chiswell Community Trust have received a Green Pennant award for both the nearby Chiswell Earthworks and the Walled Garden – an award for the best community-run parks in the country.
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