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for decades. These positive discussions are ongoing. Consequently we cannot comment further at this time.”
Earlier this year, campaigners were left outraged after the announcement that the Ryton Organic Gardens were listed for sale.
The site, which currently hosts a shop, visitor centre, agricultural buildings, car parking, organic gardens and farmland is open to the public, and is a popular day out across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Up until mid September, it was also home to a cafe, which closed its doors for the final time. A number of
people, including Lawrence Hills, the founder of Garden Organic, have had their ashes spread at the site, which is also home to a number of memorial trees, benches, plaques and plants. At the time, a spokesperson for the charity said that they are “aware that the garden is a special place for some and would like to assure families that they will continue to be engaged in a conversation about the future of the memorials as this develops.”
Campaigners have been battling to save the gardens, since the announcement that the charity were considering their options. The save the Ryton Gardens group lodged a protest vote at the charity’s AGM over the summer, which was ultimately unsuccessful. However, the most effective measure to date came from the Heart of England Organic Group, who successfully applied to declare the gardens as an Asset of Community Value with Rugby Borough Council.
For the campaigners battling to save the Ryton Gardens, this gave them the option of triggering a moratorium, giving them six months to raise funds to purchase the horticultural sections of the site.
However, Garden Organic would not be obliged to sell the gardens to the group, even if they did raise the funds.
In any case, Garden Organic has since appealed Rugby Borough Council’s decision.
Garden Organic has confirmed that it will be business as usual in all aspects of the charity’s work – including the gardens, while this is ongoing.
Both members of the public and members of Garden Organic are still able to submit their views and opinions, and can do so by emailing ques[email protected]denorganic.org.uk