Community gardens gear up for national open day

Seed swaps, tours and plantings will take place across the UK this weekend as community gardens welcome visitors and celebrate urban food growing.

Citizens across the UK will be welcomed at their local community garden this weekend as part of a national celebration of urban food growing.

Community gardens in places including London, Manchester, Exeter and Birmingham will host tours, plantings and seed swaps as they open their gates to new and existing volunteers.

The idea is to show how food can be grown in urban areas, while demonstrating the benefits to biodiversity, mental health and community connections that these spaces provide.  

“We know that community gardens are good for our health and wellbeing, we’ve also seen how urban food growing can make a real difference to local people and their access to healthy and affordable food,” said Fiona McAllister, coordinator of London food network Capital Growth, which runs the day.

Good to Grow
Community gardens will welcome visitors from 22-25 April. Image Miles Willis.

Food and farming alliance Sustain, which runs Capital Growth, wants councils to increase access to community gardens and recognise that they provide a source of fresh, healthy food in the city, and create biodiversity corridors for wildlife.

“Community gardens have a lot to be proud of over the last couple of years, and this is a great opportunity for them to celebrate their achievements with neighbours and new friends,” said Bella Driessen, local action officer for Sustainable Food Places.

“Gardens are an excellent way for communities, friends and families to take action, stand in solidarity, and sow seeds of hope,” she said. “It’s only been a few months since the UK hosted COP26, the climate conference in Glasgow. With the climate and nature emergency fresh in our minds, the drive to take action, large or small, local or global, feels stronger than ever.”

A full map of participating gardens can be found here.

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