A COMMUNITY garden which was due to launch last year before the coronavirus pandemic halted plans will finally open later this month.

Mapplewell Community Garden, outside the Co-op store on Blacker Road, has been installed and plotted for more than a year and was set to open to the public weeks before the outbreak.

Plans had to be postponed when the country went into lockdown.

Now Coun Harry Spence, who represents the Darton East ward and pushed the idea of the garden forward, hopes residents will attend next weekend to plant their first flower at the allotment.

He told the Chronicle: “We’ve been ready to go with this since February last year but then Covid-19 struck and we were left with no choice but to postpone.

“Now that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, we’ve launched plans for our grand opening for the community garden.

“I’ve invited local schools and businesses to come along and plant their own flower at the garden with a popsicle stick in the top with a message they would like to leave.

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“I think, especially after the year we’ve had, this is a brilliant way to bring the village together and unite for something positive.

The garden will launch on May 22 from 9am.