Allotments and community food-growing gardens in Greater Manchester will open their gates to the public on Saturday 15th September, in the largest open event of food-growing spaces ever seen in the UK.
Sixteen local gardens are taking part in The Edible Gardens Open Day, providing members of the public with a glimpse of the green spaces on their doorstep. Over 5,000 people are expected to participate in national events and activities throughout September as a result.
“It is really exciting that Greater Manchester is one of six cities across the UK taking part in this national event. Gardening and community gardens have blossomed over the last decade and growing your own food has never been more important to a new green fingered generation.” Helen Woodcock of the The Kindling Trust the co-ordinating body for Greater Manchester
Clare Horrell from the National Co-ordinators: The Big Dig, said: “The Edible Gardens Open Day will be the first time many of these gardens have been opened to the public. Gardens have been created in some unusual spaces. What they all have in common is that they are run by local people who give up their free time to grow fantastic, tasty fruit and vegetables right in the middle of their communities. We want the public to come and visit, taste what is growing and be inspired to get involved themselves so that food growing sites become a part of every urban community.”
Many of the participating community food gardens are putting on activities such as garden tours, talks, games and barbeques, as well as selling garden produce and home made food.
Allotments, parks and gardens in Manchester City Centre, Wythenshawe, Oldham, Bolton, Openshawe, Tameside and Old Trafford are taking part. For example a churchyard in Charlestown,Hyde Park Community Orchard in Tameside and the Harpers Lane allotment site in Bolton are just three of the food-growing gardens in Greater Manchester that are opening their gates.
Over 20 gardens are participating throughout September including 15 that will be open on Edible Gardens Open Day on the 15th September. Gardens are available for interviews and photos on the day:
- Alexandra Park plot, Alexandra Park, Kings Road Entrance, Oldham, OL8 2BN
- Bethnall Drive Allotments community plot in Moss Side
- Bolton at Home
- Chatterbox Project, St Mark's Church, Charleston
- Fallowfield Secret Garden, 86-88 Wilbraham Road, Fallowfield
- Horwich Harvest Community Garden, Lever Park Special School, Stocks Park Drive, Bolton
- Hulme Community Garden Centre (HCGC), 28 Old Birley Street, Hulme, M15 5RG
- Hough Lane Garden/Incredible Edible Bromley Cross, Top of Hough Lane, Bromley Cross
- Hyde Park Community Orchard, Hyde Park
- Incredible Edible Veg Beds in St Marys Park, Prestwich,
- Moss Side Community Allotment Group
- OTAGs Community Orchard, Seymour Grove allotments, Warwick Court, Old Trafford M16 0JG
- Philips Park Fruit Garden, Philips Park, Park Lane, Whitefield
- Sanctuary Housing, Victoria House, Victoria Street, Openshaw, Manchester, M11 2LY
- St Dunstan's Primary School Allotment, St Dunstan's RC Primary School, Bacup Street, Moston, Manchester, M40, 9HF
Details and locations of participating Greater Manchester growing spaces can be found on the The Big Dig website: http://www.bigdig.org.uk/manchester/
Gardens that will be open on other days in September as part of Big Dig:
- 16th September: Rylands Kitchen Garden Community Allotment, Longford Park, Stretford.
- 14th or 16th: Partington Community Allotment, Partington Library and Well-being Centre, Central Road, Partington, Cheshire,
- 22nd September: Manchester Museum Allotment (The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester)
Gardens who held Big Dig Open days in August or early September:
- Bridge 5 Mill, Ancoats
- Harpers Lane Allotments, Bolton
- Holly Mount Orchard (Incredible Edible Ramsbottom), off Holly Mount Lane, Greenmount, Lancs BL8 4HS
- Reddish Community Peace Garden, St Agnes Church, North Reddish
- Wythenshawe Park Walled Garden Project, Wythenshawe Park.
Other gardens involved in Big Dig:
- Debdale Ecocentre
- Garden Needs, Salford
- Manchester Mind
- Reddish Vale Technical College
- Wild About the Addy, Wythenshawe
The Edible Gardens Open Day is part of Big Digs work to encouarge more people to volunteer and is funded by the Cabinet Office’s Social Action Fund and co-ordinated by Sustain:the alliance for better food and farming, Greater Manchester is one of six UK locations taking part – the others being Brighton, Coventry, London, Middlesbrough and Sheffield.
For more information about the Big Dig please go to www.bigdig.org.uk.