This week is UK Community Garden Week, and to celebrate we’ve done a round up of the UK’s five best local community gardens. They are scattered across the country, and provide the perfect respite from our increasingly busy and hectic lives.
This Manchester based community garden is located in Hulme, a suburb 20 minutes walk from the city centre. It was set up over 20 years ago and celebrates collective action and sustainable gardening practices, which is why all their plants are grown in organic compost. The garden centre sells a large variety of houseplants and fruit and veg plants and makes for a lovely little walk amongst the raised beds and tree tops. It boasts a vibrant culture and is home to a host of activities, including children’s gardening classes and outdoor festivals. You can also pay a visit to Ooh La La’s, the garden centre’s family-run vegan café, perfect for a coffee and cake pitstop. The garden is open for visits Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm and Sundays 10:30am to 4:30pm.
Great for: An afternoon out with the family
Lets Grow Preston is a volunteer-led organisation that maintains two community garden sites in and around the Preston area. The gardens grow a range of vegetables which are then incorporated into food sharing schemes which support and feed the local community. More recently, Lets Grow Preston have started a gardening club which aims to teach people a wide range of gardening skills. The two sites are always open to volunteers to help maintain the gardens, and maintain a strong community ethic.
Great for: Learning the basics of gardening
Nomadic Community Gardens are based in East London, and are focused on creating a sense of peace and community in the heart of the capital. They take disused spaces and transform them into community growing patches, where people can rent bed space and grow whatever they fancy. What started out as a pipe dream is now a thriving hub that attracts locals, and visitors from across London. The beds themselves are portable, so that depending on space requirements, they can be used to other sites. Nomadic Community Gardens have recently expanded, transforming various pieces of disused land across London but their main site is on Fleet Street.
Good for: Meeting locals and enjoying green spaces
Sherwood Community Food Gardens has two community garden plots, located within a ten minute walk of each other. Their first plot is located in Edingley Square and makes use of a patch of disused grassland behind Nottingham Prison. Community initiative has transformed this scrubby waste land into a thriving plot full of beds rich with vegetables and plants. The second plot, Sherwood Community Centre is located by Woodthorpe Grange Park and has an array of fruit trees and compost heaps. These plots are always open to volunteers to help keep the allotments tidy and expand their gardens’ capacities. Check out their volunteer application process here.
Good for: Giving back to the community
The Rainbow Garden Hull has been around for 24 years, and is still going strong! It houses compost piles, a bug hotel, raised beds for growing vegetables, and a small pond. This hive of activity hosts craft sessions, kids clubs and rents out beds to anyone wanting to grow vegetables. This garden has an array of stunning natural features including a tree canopy tunnel, and is a truly gorgeous place to immerse yourself in nature. It’s located a 20 minute walk away from the University of Hull and can be easily accessed by public transport.
Good for: A quiet walk in nature