The community garden is a beautiful and calm oasis tucked away at the very southerly tip of the estate. It’s on the allotments which were designed as part of the original estate in the 1950s. The community garden is run by Emma and Leo, along with a team of regular volunteers and was set up in 2008. They have a huge array of weekly visits from community groups, social inclusion groups, young offenders and probationary groups, school groups, and parents and children. The tailor events and activities to cater for this diverse mix, and often run grow, cook and eat sessions; gardening; and stay and play events. I was lucky enough to attend one of the grow, cook and eat sessions, where visitors prepared an egg curry (with eggs from the hens in the garden); onions; herbs, flat breads and rhubarb fool – all produce of the garden. The garden is a haven for wildlife with a wildlife pond, bee hives and orchard of which the apples are used to produce cider for their social enterprise, Blue Barrel Cider. Vegetable sales to local cafes and food banks, cider, honey and fruit trees are just some of the new initiatives the garden is doing to increase revenue. It’s a truly magical place which has an impact on a lot of lives. As with many other community groups, annual fundraising is always a challenge and they have felt this more distinctly with the knock-on effect that the loss of European funding is having as a result of Brexit.
Contact Emma or Leo, http://www.summerwood.org.uk,