National Garden Scheme provides £247,502 community garden funding

The National Garden Scheme (NGS) announced the distribution of the funding to 95 community garden projects across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

NGS Paddock Allotments and Leisure Gardens, New Malden, London
credit: Benjamin Mole

From social welfare and gardening projects that help the isolated, the disabled and the disenfranchised to support for community orchards, food banks and social prescribing projects at GP surgeries, the funding provides a much-needed boost to those working on or initiating community garden projects throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Commenting on the funding, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme, George Plumptre said: “Now, at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is forcing many people to find innovative ways to support themselves, their families and their communities our Community Garden Grants are providing even more of a helping hand to thousands of people across the UK. Many of the applications we received centred on the growing of food for communities and those helping others to learn to grow food. Many cited the benefits to the physical and mental wellbeing of their local community and the dozens supporting children and people with dementia. Applications also came from a broad spectrum of society, including a number from ethnic minorities.”

“Community gardens help to reduce isolation, build friendships and give people a sense of purpose and hope so it is easy to see why people get involved and we are delighted to provide ongoing support to so many inspirational projects”, adds Plumptre.

Danny Clarke, Ambassador for the National Garden Scheme added: “The on-going support of the National Garden Scheme to so many great community projects is helping to energise the people they support and introduce new audiences to the huge benefits that gardens, and gardening bring to their health and wellbeing and to the environment and communities around them. Getting involved and making positive change in any community can be life-changing.”

Many of the funded community projects in turn open for the National Garden Scheme completing a virtuous circle of giving and giving back.

  • Rhubarb Farm in Nottinghamshire provides training and volunteering opportunities to 60 ex-offenders, drug and alcohol misusers, older people, school students, people with mental and physical ill health and learning disabilities. The project received a grant for
    £1,352 and now opens its gates through the National Garden Scheme on dates in May, June, July and August.
  • Ponthafren, Montgomeryshire is a registered charity that provides a caring community to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for all. Open door policy so everyone is welcome. The charity received a grant for £2,612 from the National Garden Scheme for raised beds and a polytunnel and water butts for grey watering.
  • Twigs Community Garden in Wiltshire provides a therapeutic environment for people experiencing mental health issues to gain new skills and confidence through activities that include gardening, conservation and crafts. They received a grant for £3,887 to design and build a new garden space that all people struggling with their mental health can focus on the positive benefits of growing and tending plants. This garden will also be used to work with people experiencing grief and depression resulting from bereavement issues.

“Without the support of the National Garden Scheme we would not have been able to create this amazing little green space which is used by a wide variety of people in our community”, explained Martin Davies of Embrace Wigan and Leigh. The charity have created a green space in an area of high deprivation to offer a warm and welcoming space for people of all abilities to come together and grow food for their community.

According to the NGS, the funding will be distributed throughout 2024 with project updates expected in early 2025. The 2025 Community Gardens Award application process will begin in the autumn with full details available on the NGS website.

Since the NGS Community Garden Grants began, £908,100 has been donated to almost 400 community projects.