Life

By Alex Beard

A young couple have transformed their garden to make room for their dream 18ft roller skating ramp.

Hidden behind the doors of their newly built semi-detached home in Belper, Derbyshire, Jodie Powell, 29 and Ash Matkin, 33, have created a skaters paradise, for around £7,000 – spending around £1,000 for the ramp and £6,000 for the remainder of the garden.

The couple knew straight away that the garden – then just a simple flower bed – would be a perfect spot for their own ramp, but it would be with the arrival of lockdown restrictions that finally spurred them into action.

Thanks to the pair diligently spending their free time working in the garden, it has been quickly transformed, with video footage showing them quickly assembling the 18ft long by 8ft wide ramp in just eight hours.

@ashmatkingroundworksandlandscaping / CATERS NEWS

@ashmatkingroundworksandlandscaping / CATERS NEWS 

Shifting around 20 tonnes of dirt and rock they’ve also created three levels in the garden – which was completed in April this year – with a wild meadow section and lawn area that provides remarkable views of the nearby country side. While smaller projects for the garden remain – with some greenery due to be grown on their back wall and small licks of paint applied – it is the perfect result for the couple.

Jodie said: “It’s a dream set up, we basically wanted a project for the garden when we bought the house at the end of February.

“The previous owners said they’d not done anything to the garden and for us, that was great because we loved the idea of working on it and instantly thought a ramp would be awesome in there.

“Obviously as well when lockdown came in we weren’t allowed to go to the skatepark anymore, which was around the time I’d fallen in love with ramp skating. So, we just thought why don’t we built our own?”

While not without its difficulties – materials had to be carried up a ladder to the garden due to it being on a mid-level – Ash’s experience as a landscaper proved invaluable, along with the help of friends who chipped in to help.

However, having the garden equipped with its own ramp has already paid for itself for the pair, with the plywood surface being easier for falls and public skateparks often being popular draws.

Jodie said: “It’s quite intimidating, especially when it’s busy and being a nearly 30-year adult, doing something that can result in falling over a lot, it’s so nice not to have that anxiety and do it in the comfort of my own home.

“The fact that it’s wooden and not a concrete ramp as well means it’s a lot easier when you fall.

“It’s also great for garden and parties when people can come over.”

Sadly whilst rainy conditions prevented the couple from using the ramp shortly after it was completed in April last year, Jodie slipped and broke her leg whilst wearing her skates indoors.

While given the go-ahead to begin learning to walk again in July and return to work as a tattoo artist in September, it took some time before she could again take up skating.

However, with the draw of their incredible garden ramp, she was determined to push through and lace up her skates again.

She said: “It was scary to go back on skates knowing you’ve had an injury, but having the ramp there made me really miss it and I wanted to progress.

“During the lockdown, there was a huge surge in roller skating and because of that there was a shortage of skates, so with this and seeing the ramp I was super desperate to get back out on it again.”

@ashmatkingroundworksandlandscaping / CATERS NEWS 

@ashmatkingroundworksandlandscaping / CATERS NEWS

@ashmatkingroundworksandlandscaping / CATERS NEWS

@ashmatkingroundworksandlandscaping / CATERS NEWS

@ashmatkingroundworksandlandscaping / CATERS NEWS