Community / Features

Growing places in St Werburghs

By ann sheldon, Tuesday Aug 2, 2016

Work has started to transform an overgrown and dilapidated corner of Ashley Vale allotments into an accessible and inspiring food growing space for the local community.  Much of the work, from site clearance and construction right through to plant growing and sales will be done by local volunteers. 

The space will be used to engage local people in food growing, training, cooking and community events. One of the project’s key aims is to increase the amount of produce grown across the 13 acre allotment site by growing and selling young veg plants to allotment holders. The project will make use of a large poly tunnel and there are plans to encourage disadvantaged adults to grow and sell the plants. Plants will also be sold to local residents and visitors.  

Plans were developed through extensive consultation with plot holders. Other on site facilities are to include a covered teaching and event space, a wood fired oven, accessible plots for gardeners with disabilities, a plant sales area and paths and seating.

The project has been funded through a grant from the People’s Health Trust and is a collaboration between Ashley Vale Allotment Association and St Werburghs City Farm.  

Sarah Flint, Propagation Officer for the project, explained: “This is an exciting new project which should help scale up local food production.  We hope it will increase the retention of plot holders on the allotment and encourage greater productivity.  Not only that, it will enable us to engage older people, those with disabilities and mobility issues, and under-represented groups, in gardening.  Activities and events on the site will also help bring people together.”

Volunteer work days to develop the site are currently held every Wednesday between 10am and 3pm, and in August volunteer growing sessions will take place 3 days a week. All new volunteers are welcome, no experience is needed.

For more information call St Werburghs City Farm on 0117 942 8241 or email

For details on The People’s Health Trust who fund community health projects go to:


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