Located just a mile east of Stockport's centre, Woodbank Memorial Park is home to Woodbank Nursey - an urban horticulture hub that joins up inclusive community gardening with commercial organic food production. It’s the size of one a half football pitches, and includes several large polytunnels for under-cover veg growing. A collection of organisations are working together on the site to make it a hub for local food, with current activities including:
Glebelands City Growers - A small market garden business which produces organic salad and veg for sale in Greater Manchester shops and cafes. It has two sites, one here at Woodbank, the other in Sale, Trafford.
FarmStart - A training programme for amatuer growers who want to expand into commercial organic veg growing, run by ourselves at The Kindling Trust.
Various locally-based community growing groups
Stockport Beekeepers - a training apiary for budding beekeepers
Upcoming Opportunities and Events
A varied programme of activities is open to local residents and the general public, including community gardening sessions, open to all, every Saturday 10am - 1pm. Details of all events can be found on the Nursey website.
Social Prescribing Pilot
In 2017 the site is also home to an innovative pilot scheme, working with Stockport GP’s to test out the effectiveness of prescribing more than just medicine.
Kindling will be helping local doctors trial something called ‘social prescribing’ - referring patients for healthy veg, cookery classes and gentle exercise in the form of gardening, instead of relying solely on medicine – in the hope that this might be a more effective way to alleviate some mild to moderate health conditions.
Social prescribing recognises that peoples’ health is affected by a whole range of factors, and tries to address peoples’ needs more broadly. It also aims to support people to take greater control of their own health. Find out more about the pilot and read an update on its progress here.
The one and a half acre site was previously a Council plant nursery, run by the Parks Department. It closed in 2011 and a large part of the site lay unused until 2015, when the Council partnered with us as part of Feeding Stockport to bring in a range of new activities and organisations. The ambitious partnership included 16 different stakeholders and was made possible through the work of Feeding Stockport, and the willingness of Stockport Council to work towards becoming a Sustainable Food City.
The Nursey fits into Kindling’s overall mission to transform our food system into one which is fairer, healthier for people, and better for the environment.