Growing in Parks

Interesting letter from Brighton with some useful ideas for Leeds, perhaps:

We have developed a procedure for projects growing in parks with Brighton & Hove City Council.  They are primarily interested in whether the group has the capacity to keep the project maintained for the long-term and if it is for the benefit of the local community.  As the funding for parks have been reduced so dramatically usually they are keen to see park gardens being maintained by volunteers as it can have other benefits too; they keep an eye on the area, undertake litter-picking and anti-social behaviour is reduced as more people are using the space.

We usually help any interested groups undertake a community consultation and help them write a project proposal which they give to the Council for approval.  This process tends to weed out any groups that aren’t going to be around for the long-term.  I’ve attached a few documents:

The agreed procedure for new gardens in public spaces is what we give to interested individuals, the BHCC draft checklist is for the Council’s own use and then if the consultation has been successful we help them to complete a community agreement.

We are running two demonstration gardens in parks.  The first is at Preston Park which has been going for 7 years now with regular volunteers, this has raised beds in a low fenced area, a mixture of perennial and annual plants and a weekly group of volunteers and vulnerable adults who are supported by a paid member of staff who goes every 2 weeks.   The second is now being developed at Saunders Park where we are putting in a more perennial less time-consuming garden; which currently has workshops twice a month with the community.

We’ve helped set up Wish Park Community Garden and a permaculture garden at Dyke road park .  A new garden is starting in Norfolk Square park.  Some of the parks have planted community orchards with the help of Brighton Permaculture Trust

Vandalism isn’t anything like as much of a problem as people think it might be.  The odd leek has been stolen, one garden had someone cutting the plants in two for a few months and then it stopped, someone dug up and pinched a tree.  You need to make sure you have a strong group or organisation as you really don’t want the park looking tatty if beds aren’t weeded/watered etc. Although the right design will help this issue if you need it to be less time-consuming.

Many thanks to Helen Starr-Keddle, Development Officer, Brighton & Hove Food Partnership)

Community Orchard and Edible Bed

There is already some growing in Leeds parks – like Allerton Grange Fields, Beckett Pocket Beds, and the council’s own ornamental veg beds. We plainly need to do more!

News and Potting Shed blogs merged

Now that non-growing discussion has moved to the Leeds Food Partnership, we no longer need three blogs on this site. So the Think Tank blog has become the LFP blog, and the Potting Shed blog has been merged with this, the main Feed Leeds blog and the Potting Shed page has been retired. Instead, we have set up a Facebook Group, which we hope will be widely used by anyone interested in growing food and related activities.

Hollin Lane Allotments autumn show

Hollin Lane Allotments are having their annual autumn show on Sunday 10 September, starting at 11:00.  Members celebrate the year’s hard work and harvest, with the most beautiful (and oddest) produce competing for prizes.  Open to everyone.  Delicious home made eats, books and useful garden stuff for sale, a Bring-Your-Own BBQ, lots of happy folk around. Find us on the Meanwood Valley Trail, near Hollin Drive LS16 5NE.

City centre pop-up allotments!

popupallotment.jpgTo celebrate the Leeds and District Allotment Gardener Federation’s Centenary and to promote allotments LDAGF are creating pop-up allotments in 5 venues in the City centre during the week beginning 7th August:
Mon 7 Aug Front of Leeds Town Hall
Tues 8 Aug Merrion Street Gardens
Wed 9 Aug Park Square
Thur 10 Aug Sovereign Street Square
Fri 11 Aug Leeds Town Hall

Contact for more info.