Why Community Gardens?
Community gardens can be incredibly diverse - from a small shared corner of an allotment site, to a large acerage and paid support workers. Every site will be different and will reflect the time, energy and intentions of those involved.
Some of the benefits include:
How to find your nearest community garden
There are a number of well established community gardens in Somerset. You can find them by district here.
Starting a Community Garden
If there isn't a community garden in your area, you may be inspired to start one. New community gardens will most likely need many of the steps detailed in this guidebook.
You may wish to think about:
Above all, the best advice is to get support! Be inspired by other local projects and utilise their experience and knowledge in making your vision a reality. Make use of the experience and resources of national groups, such as the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, who are here to help.
Inspiring examples in Somerset
Axbridge Community Allotments Association
This group first set up a community garden within the town of Axbridge in 2008. They then went on to create a Community Food Forest on another site to experiment with fruit trees and bushes and other perennial planting. They opted for community sites over individual allotments as it was clear that time poor families couldn’t manage allotments but could be involved in something shared. Also growing together allows the work, skills and knowledge and produce to be shared so that huge amounts of food to be grown for little time investment per family. More.
Vikings Veg, Watchet
Vikings Veg is a Food Cooperative based at the Little Vikings Children's Centre in Watchet, West Somerset providing about 25 boxes of fruit and veg each week to the families and the local community. Following a successful funding application they were allocated part of the Knights Templar School wildlife area to turn into a community allotment with a polytunnel being erected during the summer of 2011. More.
Other local inspiring community gardens include Bishops Palace Community Garden in Wells, the Mount Community Garden in Frome, Milford Community Garden in Yeovil, Shipham Community Allotment and Tatworth Growing Together. All the gardens are very different but all provide a positive example of what small groups of people can achieve together.
Further sources of support & information
Reports & Guides