Community Gardens

Design Brief

The aim of the project is to provide a pleasant environment for village events and day to day recreation. To promote an interest in gardening and an awareness of the local environment among Scrooby residents of all ages


To develop one or more areas in the village as community gardens to be enjoyed by villagers and visitors alike. The gardens will be built and maintained by village residents, the plan should involve minimum expenditure to produce a low key garden which will not be considered a target for vandals. The gardens should provide interest for children and adults alike. The gardens should provide an area for residents to meet with the possibility of herbs, flowers and maybe fruit to pick.


You are invited to propose a design for one or more of these areas:

  • The Play Area approx. 25m x 20m
  • The area to the left of the village hall adjoining the Croft approx. 25m x 15m
  • The Pinfold approx. 6m x 6m

Submit a design on paper not exceeding one A3 sheet for each area.

The design should include:

  • A Plan of the area showing all features existing and proposed.
  • Sketch showing finished result (optional)
  • Construction notes
  • A Planting Plan
  • Maintenance plan


Existing boundaries and trees must be retained.

The Winning Designs

The Scrooby Village Show had competition classes for each of the garden design areas. There were design entries for each of the areas. Entries were anonymous, and judged by the Reverend Richard Spray.

Details of the winning designs and progress in the making of Scrooby's community gardens are given here.


The 2008 Scrooby Village Show had a competition class for the design of a community garden in the stone-walled enclosure to the north of the Chruchyard, known as the Pinfold. Entries were anonymous, and judged by the Reverand Richard Spray. Sue Dolby won the competition. Her design is given here.

Winning Design for Scrooby's Pinfold Garden


I see the Pinfold as an area where villagers and visitors can sit in a quiet place; somewhere children can come and look for wild life.

Despite what people think, the Pinfold, once cleared and planted, is a very calming, peaceful place. Although it may not get much sun, certain plants will thrive.

This can be a true village garden if people will donate their unwanted plants from their own gardens. This would also cut the cost of having to buy plants.

We should keep some of the ivy as this attracts birds to nest, and we shouldn't fill any of the holes in the walls as wrens nest in them. We could hang nesting and insect boxes.


The area will be completely cleared, dug over and fertilized. The ivy and the overhanging trees will be pruned. The paths and seating area will be laid. These could be in any suitable material laid on a base of black weed matting.

Planting Plan

It would be nice to see the village children involved.

Plants should be colourful and aromatic, to attract butterflies, insects, etc. Mainly plants should be perennial, i.e. herbs, small shrubs and a buddlia bush. Bright colours could be introduced with some annuals until the other plants get established. Bulbs could also be planted for spring colour. Under the lime tree, ground cover plants, e.g. woodruff, could be planted.


Hopefully, once established, there will be a fairly low need for maintenance; just a general tidy up now and then. Again, it would be nice to get the children involved in this.

The ivy will need cutting back each year after the nesting seaason has ended. Regular clearing up of the litter, which will inevitably find its way in there, will be needed.


The Pinfold was the first community garden area to receive attention.

A series of working mornings will run through 2008/9. The dates will be advertised on the village calendar (see top bar on this page), in Izzy Marshall's window, and on the Pinfold gate. Please come along and bring your tools.

20 September 2008

Scrooby Pinfold Day Helpers 20 September 2008

There was loads of help with the task of clearing the Pinfold of ivy and undergrowth.

The lovely limestone and brick wall, with its huge triangular-section limestone coping stones, has been revealed from underneath the ivy. The old, thin bricks and the weathered Magnesian Limestone blocks, some of them near monumental, are very characteristic of Scrooby village. Limestone and brick walls are also seen at the Mill, and on Dog Lane.
Scrooby Church Spire Top Reused in Pinfold Wall

The walls of the pinfold contain much re-used masonary from the fabric of the church, including the old spire top. The current spire is topped in the stained dark coal measure sandstone, in contrast to the limestone of the rest of the church. The old spire top can be found in the Pinfold walls, in two pieces, with smooth chiselled octagonal outer sides, and a hollow interior. One section of the spire top can be seen in the photograph above, just behind the red-handled secateurs balanced on the wall top. The other section, visible in the second photograph, is just to the north of the gate between the garden of the Old Vicarage and the graveyard.

4 October 2008

Scrooby Pinfold Cleared of Weeds.

The soil within the Pinfold is now clear of roots and weeds, and nearly ready for the laying-out and planting of Sue Dolby's winning design for the Pinfold Garden.

11 October 2008

The Blocked Gateway in the North Wall of Scrooby Church Graveyard

The helpers have continued their work down the north wall of the church's graveyard. The ivy has had a free run for many years, and has badly damaged the mortaring of the churchyard wall, and in particular the jointing between the coping stone course and the body of the wall itself. The wall may well require repointing.

An old gateway in the northern wall of the graveyard is now very apparent; blocked by limestone. Malcolm Dolby suggests that the gateway was blocked around the time of the Victorian restoration of the church. There is some evidence that the church once had a northern aisle, which has since been demolished and the nave arches or colonade blocked by a new north wall. This evidence includes very sparse graves to the immediate north of the church, and masonary in the north wall of the church which appears to be more regular, less weathered and therefore of a later date than the rest of the church. Did the blocked gateway in the garveyard wall correspond to a doorway in the now vanished northern aisle?
Monumental Limestone Coping Stones on the North Wall of Scrooby Church Graveyard.

The very large triangular-sectioned limestone coping stones which run for several tens of metres around the Old Vicarage, the Pinfold, and the north wall of the church's graveyard are probably re-used masonary from the Archbishop of York's manor house, which once stood at the eastern extent of the village. It is hard to know how this suggestion could be proved, except by excavation of the perimeter ditch or moat around the manor site. Malcolm Dolby states that when drainage was dug across the manor site in the 1970s, the moat was clealy filled with demolition rubble from the manor. Recovery of the coping stones from this rubble would clinch it. Inspection of extant episcopal manor house of the same date and ownership may also help.

14 October 2008

Scrooby Pinfold Volunteer Skip-Fillers.

The council delivered a skip to Church Lane on Tuesday 14 October 2008 at 8am. The volunteers quickly cleared the debris into the skip. Church Lane now looks a lot tidier!

25 October 2008

Helpers collected a great quantity of horse manure, from Dave and Christine Hull's horses and the Baldings' stables. The horse manure was spread over the Pinfold as a fertiliser.

1 November 2008

Scrooby Pinfold with Path.

Helpers dug in the horse manure and set out the path according to Sue Dolby's winning design. A Teretex underlay for the path has been laid out. This underlay is a suitable base and weed-suppressant for a number of path surfaces. There are various choices:

  • Gravel: Local, cheap, but tends to spread onto the planted beds.
  • Limestone Slabs: Good-looking, matches the limestone wall and proposed seat, long-lasting and maintenance-free, but expensive.
  • Round Cobbles: Local, easy to lay, but may be difficult to walk on, and very difficult for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
  • Bark: Cheap, easy to lay, but tends to spread, rot, and require renewal. May also introduce fungi.

29 November 2008

Ann Robbins

Scrooby Pinfold with Path laid with Limestone, prior to Stone Flags.

Another working party on Saturday 29th November 2008 saw the paths laid in preparation for laying the stone paving donated to the project by Steve and Gill Swannack of North Notts. Landscapes. It was a crisp cold winter day and lots of volunteers turned out including a number of children. We layed out the path and compacted the hardcore with a 'Thwacker' ready for the stone to me cemented in place. Later in the day Sarah, Maria and Ann planted all the plants that had been given.

Village Hall

The 2008 Scrooby Village Show had a competition class for the design of a community garden in the grassed area to the north of the Village Hall, bordered by Manor Road and Low Road. Entries were anonymous, and judged by the Reverand Richard Spray. Ann Robbins won the competition. Her design is given here.

Winning Design for Scrooby's Village Hall Garden


This is a corner of the Croft close to the village hall which is currently grassed over. There is a hedge which separates it from the play area and a small hawthorn tree which is used to hang bird feeders. There are some trees and shrubs along the north border. The area is bounded on two sides by the road. This design introduces seating and a herb garden for village use along with planting to give all year round interest. The end wall of the village hall is used to support a climber which will provide summer and autumn interest. The grass is planted with bulbs and the area near the hall left level so that cars may park on it if necessary.


Remove some of the scrubby trees and shrubs along the fence leaving just those indicated on the plan. Prune and mulch remaining shrubs to encourage better growth. Cultivate to 2 spade depth along the fence ready to replant the beech hedge.

Herb garden - cut out turf and cultivate to one spade depth.

Prepare site for the seating, cultivate around the back and sides of the seat and prepare for planting grasses and shrubs. Cultivate an area at the foot of the village hall north wall in preparation for planting the climber.

Hard landscape.

  1. Installation of suitable seating with a hard surface for feet.
  2. Edge turf around herb garden with 'Everedge' which will effectively keep the grass out of the herb garden.
  3. Depending on the choice of climber, erect support on the village hall wall - suggest 'green wall' from 3Si.


Herb Garden, annual and perennial herbs.

Climber for the village hall wall Parthenocissus henryana, Akebia quinata or Schizophragma integrifolium

Near seat Lonicera fragrentisima - for early spring and winter scent

Lonicera periclymenum 'Belgica' - for summer scent Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin' a thorn less scented rose behind the seat.


  • Crocus - in grass
  • Snowdrops - in grass
  • Cyclamen coum and C. hederifolium- under hedge
  • Autumn crocus - in grass


Herbs - weeding and cutting out dead material. Remove annual herbs in autumn and sow annual herbs in spring. Cut grass through the summer after all the bulbs have died down.

Cut beech hedge along the north border in an 'A' shape with a flat top, aim for a height between 3' and 4'. Tie in climber on village hall wall as required.


The 2008 Scrooby Village Show had a competition class for the design of a community garden in the children's playground on the north side of the Croft near the Village Hall. Entries were anonymous, and judged by the Reverand Richard Spray. Heidi Robbins and Charlotte Arrowsmith won the competition. Their design is given here.

Winning Design for Scrooby's Playground Garden

Work began in Scrooby's Playground on 6 February 2010. The first day was spent clearing an old compost heap, levelling the area and clearing undergrowth. Further work in the spring and summer will plant up the area according to Heidi and Charlotte's winning design.

Heidi and Sam Robbins clearing compost and undergrowth from the Playground