OUTDOOR family fun is high on the agenda as the long summer holiday rolls around once again.

If you’re looking for something close to home which is healthy, engaging, educational, and free, look no further than the activities on offer at Northwich’s very own ‘secret garden’.

Rod’s Secret Garden is a community project in Oak Street, near Aldi, and is the ideal place to take the kids when they’ve reached their screen time limit.  

Created by Northwich professional gardener, the late Rod Inwood, and now cared for by Sustainable Northwich, it’s the perfect place for kids to go pond dipping, bug hunting, and to learn some gardening basics and pick up top tips from a veg growing master.

Northwich Guardian: Roy Pearce working on mosaics at Rod's Secret GardenRoy Pearce working on mosaics at Rod's Secret Garden (Image: Sustainable Northwich)

Sustainable Northwich co-ordiantor, Alison Allum, said: “Rod’s Secret Garden is a magical place - a real hidden gem. And it’s right on top of Northwich town centre, so very easy to get to.  

“What could be nicer on a sunny day than exploring a shady garden, crafting and chatting whilst sipping a cool drink, while the kids go off and enjoy some pond dipping or bug hunting.

“Young artists might even like to paint an artwork to go in the new shed.

“New volunteers are always welcome to help care for the garden, as there’s always fun tasks to do get involved with. It’s an excellent way to pick-up some new skills.

“And it’s all completely free. People can just drop in for a bit, or stay for the day. It’s entirely up to them."

Northwich Guardian: A young volunteer learns how to make elderflower cordialA young volunteer learns how to make elderflower cordial (Image: Sustainable Northwich)

The garden is open Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am to 4pm, when volunteers are on hand to chat and provide activities, and everyone is welcome to come along and get involved.

Pam French, who oversees the vegetable area, enjoys growing food for volunteers to share at lunchtime.

She said: “It's so satisfying to use herbs and produce you have grown yourself.

“On Tuesdays, I'm happy to share my knowledge of growing vegetables with anyone who'd like to learn with me in the garden."