Future use of Blaise Kitchen Garden as a Community Garden

Initial ideas from the ‘Garden Group’

Our Conservation Area would be greatly enhanced by using Blaise Kitchen Garden as a Community Garden.The area presently contains several greenhouses in various stages of repair and a victorian fernery’ in a huge walled space, with a building previously used for horticultural education and could possibly be used again for the same purpose. The greenhouses were used to grow bedding plants for the whole of Bristol for the latter part of the last century and then by a college Horticultural Department.We discussed how wonderful this would be for our Community, to encourage people to work together producing fresh food and growing plants to sell.We often talk about vandalism in our area. By encouraging a wide age group of people to work together, exchanging skills and enthusiasm, the energy of our youth could be diverted into something positive and creative.The possibilities of positively changing people’s lives could be immense. To get this project off the ground we know will be a huge upward battle,but we are prepared to try.Areas to investigate before the next meeting are :history and conservation within the site;FUNDING!; visit to a local Community Garden for ideas and inspiration.The lease on this site comes up for review in 2011 so we need to have an excellent proposal together by then.

3 responses to “Future use of Blaise Kitchen Garden as a Community Garden”

  1. I’d be very interested to know how this Community Garden project is progressing – and who I could contact to have a chat about using some available land in another local venue in Henbury for a similar community project. Look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Hi Tracey,
    The Community Garden project is only slowly moving forward (see notes of 22nd March HCS meeting. Partly this is due lack of volunteers to help with defining the project.
    You might be inerested in this statement from Bristol City Council: –

    Council awarded EU funding to launch ‘army’ of green volunteers

    Release Date: 24-Mar-2011

    A pioneering council scheme that aims to bring together up to 1,000 green volunteers for the city has been awarded a grant of almost EUR 33,000 (approx £28,000) by the EU.

    The scheme was one of only three flagship projects in the UK chosen to receive funding by the EU, as part of its 2011 European Year of Volunteering. The council will contribute EUR 15,000 (approx £13,000) of its own money into the scheme.

    The scheme will be led by the Bristol Natural History Consortium, with support from Volunteering Bristol, Voscur and the council.

    “We are delighted to have been chosen as one of only three projects in the UK,” says Council Leader Barbara Janke. “We want to harness the energy and enthusiasm that we know is out there and bring it together to create an effective green taskforce that can tackle environmental issues in our communities.

    “We will work closely with neighbourhood partnerships, community groups and voluntary organisations to identify environmental projects and challenges within each community and then provide help and support to deal with them.

    “There are already a number of volunteering initiatives in place in the city – from street cleansing to energy advice to growing organic food. This scheme will strengthen these initiatives and attract greater support by improving the information and advice available to the public about volunteering opportunities, by pooling training and resources, and by identifying the key areas of work for each neighbourhood.”

    Savita Custead, chief executive of the Bristol Natural History Consortium, said: “Bristol is filled with people who are already making a difference, and this was recognised by the EU in awarding this funding. Throughout 2011 we want to reward those already volunteering, and work with organisations big and small across the city to help them expand their work by drawing on volunteers’ energy across the city.”

    Matthew Symonds, development manager at Voscur, said: “This grant from the EU and their 2011 Year of Volunteering campaign acknowledges the vital work that the voluntary sector carries out in cities all across Europe. It’s great news to be awarded funding to help expand the work
    going on in Bristol.”

    Stephen Dale, chief executive of Volunteering Bristol said: “The voluntary and charity sectors are really feeling the squeeze in this current climate, but this EU funding recognises the important role volunteers can play. We look forward to working with our partners in this project to help meet the environmental needs of the local communities across the city.”

    The scheme will have an official launch event to highlight the benefits of green volunteering, and further workshops and training events will take place throughout the year in the neighbourhood partnership areas to attract local volunteers and share good practice. Local Neighbourhood Forums will provide one of many ways that local people will be able to access information and come up with ideas about green volunteering. A website will also be created where people can find out about green volunteering activities.

    The council also plans to establish an award scheme to recognise the achievements of the volunteers. This would see the best project being rewarded each year with a sum of money, which could then be spent on a green project by their neighbourhood partnership.

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