Our talk at the Murley Hall for April 2019 was given by Mr. Kevin Mackness, founder and proprietor of this most worthy establishment. Created in 1986, the nursery, located in Canonstown, near Hayle, was Mr. Mackness’s response to the lack of facilities locally for adults with learning difficulties.
With around 6 acres of land and six people with learning difficulties, he began to develop the site with hand-me-down tools and sheds and polytunnels that were going cheap after the great storm of 1987. Through their own hard work and determination they built sheds & polytunnels and ploughed the land to grow flowers and vegetables not to make money but to offer the “clients” meaningful occupation on a daily basis after many years of being shut in and given no encouragement to be creative. Mr Mackness was keen to emphasise that everything at Heather Lane Nursery was built by the clients themselves, under his guidance, no contractors had done any work on site.
The nursery has been remarkably successful over more than thirty years in providing meaningful employment for these disadvantaged adults and Mr Mackness can be justifiably proud of the achievements that all those at Heather Lane Nursery have made and continue to make. The next chapter in the nurseries life is now being written as Mr. Mackness takes a back seat and the next generation take over the mantle of this very important local charity.
Ludgvan Horticultural Society is proud to support this charity work and extend our thanks to Mr Mackness for his illuminating and often humorous account of the trials and tribulations of the establishment of Heather Lane Nursery, long may it continue to positively affect the lives of so many.