A HIGH-PROFILE television presenter and naturalist has added his voice to those opposed to the closure of a community garden.

Earlier this month the Leader reported how founders of the Llangollen Community Garden called on Denbighshire Council to save the garden, which is based in Hill Street, after the authority’s asset management group decided in November to gift its 0.5-acre plot to a private developer.

Now naturalist and wildlife television presenter Iolo Williams has thrown his weight behind the appeal to save the garden, which was established in 2012.

Mr Williams, who has worked in conservation for more than 30 years and has presented many nature and wildlife series for the BBC and S4C, said: “Resources such as this play a vital role in local communities and can engender a lifelong passion for gardening and wildlife.

“Indeed my own passion was encouraged by my grandfather who took me to work with him in a local community garden.

“In these times when mental health and weight issues are becoming an increasing problem, community gardens have an important role to play and it would be a travesty if the garden at Llangollen was closed.”

Founders of the garden, which was gifted to the developer on the basis that they will carry out works to nearby Plas Newydd, say they received just four days’ notice ahead of the decision – which is due to be ratified on January 11.

Gardener Warren Davies said: “We have worked hard to create a community resource which is open to all, at no cost to the council, but it seems the council is willing to destroy that.”

A spokesman for the Llangollen Community Garden group added: “Following the initial decision in November it has now emerged that the land was originally bought by Denbighshire County Council in order to enhance and protect the neighbouring heritage attraction, Plas Newydd.

“The initial purchase was majority funded by the Heritage Lottery fund. ”

A spokesman for Denbighshire Council said: “The developer has offered an alternative location for the community garden, but this offer has been rejected.

“The council has continued to engage with the community garden and are trying to be open and transparent with them. To this end the community garden have been provided with all the reports associated with the proposal.

“The council has also committed to providing a revised report for the next meeting of the Asset Management Group in January, when this group will review the decision made at the November meeting, reflecting on the additional information and supporting documentation provided by the community garden.

“The group will then decide whether to progress with the proposed exchange or follow a different course of action”.

In response to the claim the group has been offered another site, Mr Davies added: “Another site has been mentioned, but it is in private ownership and has not been negotiated by the council, or formalised in any way.

“It also appears to be one tenth of the size of the current garden”.