NEWS / Veg Cities

Grow-your-own health and happiness at the Big Dig Day on 27 April

Over 80 gardens across the UK, from Perth to Bournemouth are opening their gates, lining up their spades and getting the kettle on to welcome new growers to take a look.

Credit: Tania Han

Credit: Tania Han

The saying goes that ‘gardening adds years to your life and life to your years’ and on Saturday the 27th April you can drop in and meet people from your local community food garden.

The Big Dig Day is organised by Sustain the food and farming charity that set up the Big Dig Network, to help gardens get more people growing food. They also run the London based Capital Growth network, one of the largest urban growing networks in the world.  The gardens taking place range from large gardens such as The Regent’s Park allotment garden in London, urban farms and market gardens, community projects and schools.

“We have been working with all sorts of community gardens for the last 10 years and see first-hand how they bring together people of across ages and walks of life, providing a real sense of calm and wellbeing” explained Sarah Williams, from Sustain who launched the Big Dig Day in 2012. Since then thousands of people have joined in at their local garden to grow healthy food together, building friendships along the way.

The day, also being used to encourage people to eat more veg as part of the Veg Cities campaign, will be filled with family friendly activities, including planting and seed sowing, garden tours, family games and craft activities with the opportunity to create new wildlife-friendly edible gardens and to learn about permaculture and how to make plant feeds. The day is for all fitness levels, and for people looking to get regularly involved or those who may just want somewhere to relax. 

Find gardens on the www.bigdig.org.uk including:

  • The Chalk Hills Academy in Luton helping retired community members share gardening skills with young people to grow their own food. There will be afternoon tea, children's activities, music and learn to grow your own sessions.
  • Greenheart Growers in Glasgow - a Market Garden growing salad, herbs, and vegetables for sale to local cafes and restaurants, who will be building raised bed, sowing seedds, turning compost and planting herbs.
  • Riverbank Community Garden in Manchester who will provide tours and a talk on beekeeping.
  • Townsend Community Garden in Bournemouth for a day of planting, with sunflowers and beans for the children to plant and watch grow to giddy heights.
  • The Old 1 O'Clock Club, South London where the Trees for Cities 'Edible Playgrounds' team will be deed sowing, planting out vegetable plus family games and crafts to encourage and wildlife.

Camilla who started growing food at The Castle Garden, in North London one of the regular Big Dig Gardens said “I find growing food an incredibly rewarding experience. Gardening in itself is a therapeutic activity, and gardening in a community environment, amongst other people with similar interests or views, is even better.”

There are thousands of community groups meeting to grow together every week, and whether you want to grow, sow or just sit to enjoy the peace, you can find your nearest garden in a few clicks.

Find a garden near you taking part in the Big Dig Day on our website. And if your local community garden has not signed up already, do let them know, all gardens are welcome to join #BigDig2019

For further information email sarah@sustainweb.org or call 0203 559 6777

Useful information

  1. A full list of gardens taking part is available at www.bigdig.org.uk  or listed below:
  1. The Big Dig Day is run by the food and farming charity, Sustain and is part of their Big Dig online platform that helps people to grow food together across the UK. Any community garden can register on the map for free and to date there are over 55 gardens on the map.

www.sustainweb.org

  1. The Big Dig Day was first run in London as part of Sustain’s Capital Growth network which has supported over 3000 member gardens since its launch in 2008. www.capitalgrowth.org
  1. The Big Dig Day is also part of the Sustainable Food Cities’ Veg Cities Campaign which is all about increasing the availability and consumption of vegetables in organisations ranging from schools and community groups to retailers and caterers.

www.vegcities.org

  1. The Big Dig, now in its eighth year, is now running in 12 areas in addition to London where the event was first launched in 2012, with the support of the following organisations: Aberdeen (Community Food Initiatives North East), Birmingham (Growing Birmingham), Bournemouth and Poole (Bournemouth and Poole Food Partnership), Cambridge (Cambridge Sustainable Food), Durham (Durham Community Action), Edinburgh (Edinburgh Community Food), Glasgow (Glasgow Community Food Network), Hull (Hull Food Partnership), Leeds (Zest), Luton (Luton Borough Council), Manchester (Sow the City) and Reading (Reading Food Growing Network) You can see gardens listed in each area by selecting the area and then click ‘BIG DIG DAY’ button  www.bigdig.org.uk
  1. Photos and interviews with volunteers and garden leaders are available on request.

 

UK Gardens

Townsend Community Garden

Townsend Growers

Bournemouth

Slades Farm Community Garden

Transition Bournemouth

Bournemouth

Prestwich Clough forest garden

Incredible edible Prestwich and district

Bury

Edible Roundabout

Cambridge Growing Spaces

Cambridge

Incredible Edible Wishing Well Garden (opp Conwy Castle)

Incredible Edible Conwy

Conwy

Battlefield Community Garden

Battlefield Community Project

Glasgow City

Maryhill dot to dot

Maryhill Dot to Dot Community  Garden

Glasgow City

Greenheart Growers

 

Glasgow City

Square Yard

Finn’s Place

Glasgow City

Old Town Bloomers Community Garden

Hazlehurst Studios

Halton

Otley Community Allotment

Otley Community Land Trust

Leeds

Chapel Allerton Kitchen Garden

Chapel Allerton in Bloom

Leeds

The Chalk Hills Academy

The Chalk Hills Academy

Luton

Penrose Roots to Recovery Garden

Penrose Roots

Luton

Farley Food Growing Hub

Groundwork Luton and Bedfordshire

Luton

Riverbank Community Garden

 

Manchester

Incredible Edible Veg Beds in St Mary's Park, Prestwich

 

Manchester

Longford Park Community Allotment

Longford Park Community Allotment

Manchester

Platt Fields Market Garden

Garden Manager/ Director

Manchester

Moss Side Community Allotment

Moss Side Community Allotment

Manchester

Phipps Bridge Community Garden

Sustainable Merton

Merton

Wimbledon Guild Community Garden

The Wimbledon Guild of Social Welfare, Community Garden

Merton

MAEDT Community Garden

Mayfield and Easthouses Development Trust

Midlothian

Rockfield Park Community Garden

 

Monmouthshire

Wor Lotty

 

Newcastle upon Tyne

Hope allotments

Northampton Hope Centre - Hope Gardening

Northampton

Perth Community Farm

Perth Community Farm

Perth & Kinross

Adastral Square Gardening Project

Poole

Tatnam Organic Patch

Tatnam Organic Patch

Poole

Common Ground

Near Neighbours Black Country

Sandwell

Southend in Transition Community Allotment

Southend-on-Sea in Transition

Southend-on-Sea

Root’n’Fruit Community Allotment

 

Stoke-on-Trent

Hendon Natural Community Garden

 

Sunderland

Walled Garden at The Abbey Sutton Courtenay

The Abbey Sutton Courtenay

Vale of White Horse

Eastmoor Community Garden

Eastmoor Community Garden

Wakefield

 

London Gardens

St John's church plot

Incredible Edible Barnet

Barnet

Whetstone Allotments Community Plot

Whetstone Stray Allotments Community Plot

Barnet

Punch and juicy's Root To Market

Punch and Juicy Liquid Foods

Brent

Children Growing Vegetables

Willesden Green Town Team

Brent

Cecil Sharp House Permaculture Garden

London Permaculture Network

Camden

Broomfield Community Orchard

Broomfield Community Orchard

Enfield

The Maryon Park Community Food Growing Garden

Maryon Park Community Garden

Greenwich

Christchurch School Community Garden

Christchurch CE Primary School

Greenwich

St Mary's Secret Garden

St Mary's Secret Garden

Hackney

Rainbow Grow @ HCVS

Rainbow Grow

Hackney

The Castle Climbing Centre

The Castle Climbing Centre

Hackney

Trees for Cities Garden

Trees for Cities

Lambeth

Ruskin Park Community Garden

Ruskin Park Community Garden

Lambeth

Oasis Children's Nature Garden

Oasis Play Nature Garden

Lambeth

The Springbank Rd Community Garden

Hither Green Community Association

Lewisham

Wild Cat Wilderness

Rushey Green Time Bank

Lewisham

John Evelyn Community Garden

Pepys Community Forum

Lewisham

Greenfingers

Trafalgar Infant School

Richmond upon Thames

Sutton Community Farm

Sutton Community Farm

Sutton

Families Go Wild

Spitalfields City Farm

Tower Hamlets

Cranbrook Community Food Garden

Cranbrook Community Food Garden

Tower Hamlets

Greenway Avenue Community Play Garden

Friends of Greenway Avenue Community Play Garden

Waltham Forest

Doddington & Rollo Community Roof Garden

Doddington & Rollo Community Roof Garden

Wandsworth

The Regent's Park Allotment Garden

Sustain

Westminster

 


16/04/2019
Veg Cities

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Veg Cities: Veg Cities is a feature campaign of the Sustainable Food Cities led by food and farming charity Sustain in partnership with the wider Peas Please initiative led by the Food Foundation, Nourish Scotland, Food Cardiff and WWF.

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