Located just a mile east of Stockport's centre, Woodbank Memorial Park is home to Woodbank Community Food Hub - an urban horticulture hub that joins up inclusive community gardening with commercial organic food production. It’s the size of one and 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 turn it into a thriving hub for local food, with current activities including:
Veg Box People - Part of the family of enterprises supported and incubated by Kindling, Veg Box People are Greater Manchester's fastest growing veg box scheme. The hub at Woodbank is a Veg Box People collection point, which means local, organic veg can be ordered online and collected from the hub.
Glebelands City Growers - A small market garden business producing organic veg, which is sold through Veg Box People, Manchester Veg People and shops, cafes and restaurants aceoss Greater Manchester. Woodbank is Glebelands' second site. They have been growing organically at their first site in Sale for many years.
FarmStart - A training programme for people aspriing to commercial organic veg growing, run by ourselves at The Kindling Trust.
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 Monday 11am - 2pm. Details of all events can be found on the hub website.
Social Prescribing Pilot
In 2017/18 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.
In partnership with local GP surgeries, Kindling is trialling a ‘social prescribing’ project, where patients are referred for 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 hub fits into Kindling’s overall mission to transform our food system into one which is fairer, healthier for people, and better for the environment.