Home > charity, garden > Ushaw Moor Community Garden | Life and style | theguardian.com

Ushaw Moor Community Garden | Life and style | theguardian.com

About three years ago, Ushaw Moor Action Group carried out a survey in the village and everyone felt that a community garden would be a good thing. There was a bit of derelict land owned jointly by Durham county council and the Roman Catholic diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, and they allowed us to have it on a long-term basis. We received money from the Big Lottery Fund’s Community Spaces to clear the land and open the garden, which we did nearly two years ago.

Tell us about the garden
We grow all kinds of fruit and vegetables. This has been one of the best winters for us; we’ve been lucky not to have as much rain as all those poor people in the south, and the weather’s been quite mild. There’s a charity called Handcrafted, which is making a keyhole garden for the site. The concept started in Africa and it uses a minimal amount of soil; you put compost in the middle and it leaches out into the soil. That will be our dedicated organic patch within the garden.

There’s an educational spin-off as well. Two local primary schools – Silver Tree and St Joseph’s – come to the garden and do work in the raised beds. Police from Durham Constabulary also do one session a week in the garden: they run a successful scheme called Hagrid, through which they work with children who are seen as being at high risk of getting involved in crime. They won a Royal Horticultural Award for their work. Last year, the kids on the Hagrid project were digging up potatoes and they were quite surprised – I think they thought they came out of plastic bags!

We’re in the process of starting a Men’s Sheds scheme (which originated in Australia and New Zealand) to give men the opportunity to get together and have a chat, because we’re not very good at talking about our emotions and all that.

via Ushaw Moor Community Garden | Life and style | theguardian.com.

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