A PLANT nursery founded during the Second World War, and a project to improve the former garden of a 19th century botanist have both been nominated for The Press’ Community Pride Awards.

The Poppleton Community Railway Nursery was established during the 1940s as part of the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign, and is now the last surviving railway nursery in the country. The charity is preserving and restoring the historic site using money raised through plant sales and visitor donations.

Ian Gillies, Lord Mayor of York, has nominated the nursery for the Best Community Project category of the 2014 awards.

He said: “The nursery provides horticultural therapy for people recovering from mental health and other types of illnesses where working in the fresh air will aid their recovery."

The nursery aims to complete restoration of the greenhouses, and also want to improve the movement of plants around the site by extending the existing railway.

They want to use special events to attract younger people to the project, and the nursery also wants to increase the amount of work carried out with youth groups such as Beavers and Scouts.

Joining the nursery with a nomination is the West Bank Park Heritage Project, which has seen residents and companies, backed by the City of York Council, improve the Holgate park, the former garden of 19th century botanist and Quaker missionary James Backhouse.

The project has seen the community come together to boost the income of the park, as well as focus on educational and study opportunities for all ages in botany and conservation.

Nominated by Councillor Sonja Crisp, council cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Holgate Park also includes a range of exotic species of trees brought back by James Backhouse from his travels around the world.

Described as “special to all the residents who use it”, Cllr Crisp said “this project is community action and collaboration at its best, and I believe this project will inspire others across the city to want to do the same in their communities.”

The Community Pride awards are run by The Press with City of York Council, and sponsored by Benenden Health.

For more information or to make a nomination online go to thepress.co.uk/pride before Friday, July 18.