Townsend Growers Launch Community Garden

Posted on Thursday 22nd March 2018

The Townsend Community Growers will come together on Friday 23 March to celebrate the opening of their new growing space.

The garden, which was funded by a £12,000 Post Code Lottery grant and will be officially opened by ward councillors, aims to give local people confidence in growing, cooking and eating healthier meals.

The funding has been used to construct 20 raised beds, purchase the seeds and tools required to grow vegetables and to contract an experienced community grower to hold weekly training sessions. In addition, a shed, notice board, water supply and hedging has been introduced to define the space. In total, nearly 60 tonnes of soil has been used to complete the garden. 

The local community will be celebrating on Friday 23 March with face painting, a raffle and a delicious BBQ. Gardening tutor, Theresa McManus, will be on hand to offer advice and guidance to all those with green fingers. Theresa will be hosting regular workshops at the garden every week for those in the community who may need some gardening advice and tips.

The Community Growers project was developed by Townsend residents with the support of the Sustainable Food City Partnership for Bournemouth and Poole, who work with communities to develop food based projects across the area. The garden in Townsend will provide a place where they can grow their own food, improve and develop skills, build household food security and combat food poverty. Within the first year the Community Growers hope that:

  • 35 households will be growing
  • 35 households will be eating more fresh produce
  • 40 hosted growing sessions will be delivered
  • 30 people will have learnt new skills

Councillor Jane Kelly, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Public Health, said: “This is a fantastic example of how a community can come together and create a beneficial and enjoyable space that they can both learn and develop from. Having a successful garden within Townsend will reflect on the skills that the residents will gain, their community spirit and the tasty meals they will have grown themselves.”

Local residents developed the project from the outset and will continue with their hands-on approach as the garden progresses. A Community Steering Group works alongside the Townsend Community Association to make all the decisions associated with the Community Garden, reflecting the views and needs of the participating households. They hope that this new food culture can be spread throughout Townsend, through the adjacent school, children’s centre and youth club.

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