Why we take part
For 2021 an Edible England inspired community allotment was developed in three short months, as lockdown came to an end. The idea was threefold:
- To create an educational tribute to early mining communities who, through sheer necessity to feed their families found a life-line in allotments. Not only did they grow food, but they reaped the benefits of being outdoors, away from the confined, damp spaces of the mines. A strong sense of community has always been at the heart of the allotment and in later years, friendly competitions took place between miners for most outstanding vegetables!
- We would like to recreate that spirit, of ‘growing together’ and sharing with our local community.
- As the world faces climate change, we would like to give back to the environment in this small way, having been an industrial site generating much pollution in former years.
Making it happen
Festival fun and follow up
The difference it makes
- This project has enabled a variety of community group collaborations. For example we received plant contributions and onsite visits with advice from volunteer gardeners at Saltwell Park in Gateshead.
- One family have attended all the weekly ‘Growing Together’ sessions and continue to do so. Their son Joshua who is seven, has been a delight to have on site as he is so enthusiastic, he even developed a large Bug Hotel on the allotment. His mother Sarah said: ‘The experience has been great for Joshua, he loves being outdoors and doing things. We have really enjoyed being part of Bowes allotment and seeing things grow.’
- Rather than the allotment lasting for a season we now have a long-term vision, with a wealth of ideas flowing from everyone. It is an ideal venue from which children can learn about our historic past, see the value in preservation, whilst gaining life skills to help them in the future. We are keen to further develop the community involvement, self-sustainability, and offer local food parcel donations to those in need.
An amazing transformation, from a barren space to courgette capital!
We didn't know this place existed until we came along for the Heritage Open Day. We had a fabulous tour of the site. We will definitely tell our friends about the great work you are all doing here - keep it up!
A hedgehog house was created by volunteers and concealed amongst the trees by two of our young ‘Growing Together ‘helpers along with a night camera. We have been delighted by the regular evening entertainment of wildlife, including George (after Engineer, George Stephenson), our new resident hedgehog. We now have fun weekly film footage gatherings to share with the team.