After a recent council engagement exercise in relation to the site of the new community garden in Sopwell, we are pleased to announce that the community garden will be created next to the Berners Drive play area.
Over the coming months, work to install the garden will take place. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the area!
The Engagement Response
The Berners Drive site was selected by the majority of respondents (42%).
The majority of local residents who responded to the engagement were in favour of a community garden in the area, citing community wellbeing and increased food-growing skills:
“Good to build local community food growing capability and knowledge and bring the community together.”
“Exactly the sort of project we should be encouraging with positive environmental and community aspects.”
The Berners Drive site was favoured due to it being a relatively safe place away from main roads, being central in the ward, and being an area that many residents pass by.
You can read the full report of the engagement exercise on our website here:
The Community Garden
The garden will grow edible and wildlife-friendly plants without pesticides or artificial fertilisers.
Phase I: Initially, the site will consist of two raised beds for growing fruit and vegetables. These will be bordered by a variety of edible, wildlife-friendly and attractive low-maintenance plants (outlined in green on the site plan).
Sustainability infrastructure (for compost/water) and a bench will be added later.
This will be gradually expanded over time to a size of approximately 250 square metres (outlined in red on the site plan).
Sopwell residents will be invited to help care for the plants, and to pick them for eating when they are ready. Monthly maintenance and teaching sessions will take place at the garden in accordance with current coronavirus guidelines. Additionally, where Lockdown rules allow, occasional small community events may take place there.
Residents will be encouraged to walk or cycle to the garden so as not to cause traffic and parking issues.
We are committed to working with all local residents to ensure that the garden enhances both the area and our community’s wellbeing. Two similar projects in the city centre are very popular with local residents.
Find Out More
Thank you if you have shown interest in the garden so far. If you would like to get involved, would like more information, or if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns, please email us on GrowSopwell@gmail.com and we will get back to you. You may also contact Peggy Sharp, SADC Community Engagement Officer, Equalities and Grants Community Services (Preferably by email: Peggy.Sharp@stalbans.gov.uk or telephone: 01727 819340). We really hope that you can support and enjoy the community garden and we look forward to meeting you at the site in the future. You can find out more about our group and projects on our website and social media channels