Grow Your Own Community

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s WildPlay programme has launched a new project called ‘Grow your own Community’ to bring life to green spaces in Hunderton. The aim is simply to get more people, of all ages, enjoying themselves outdoors and making the most of some previously neglected communal spaces.

This initiative is an inter-generational, health and wellbeing, community project aimed at getting everyone outdoors in Hunderton. It’s a joint project with Herefordshire Housing but also working in partnership with Growing Local, Greencroft Children’s Centre, Healthy Lifestyles and Helping Britain Blossom. Funding has come from Herefordshire Council’s Wellbeing Innovation Fund, Big Lottery’s Awards for All and Herefordshire Housing.

‘Grow Your Own Community’ focuses on the Villa Street and Golden Post neighbourhoods of Hunderton in Hereford. Herefordshire Housing own a few underused green spaces that they wanted to develop and WildPlay are always interested in creating natural play spaces! Now there is the chance to do this not just for children and families, but for the whole community to enjoy together.

Tea party launch

The project started with a Sunday afternoon Tea Party attracting around 70 people. Families, grannies and teens all gathering together enjoying a spot of hula hooping, extreme flower pressing and most importantly eating delicious cake! WildPlay thoroughly enjoyed a summer of children’s activities on Villa Street Green and down at Newton Brook, the kid’s favourite was stream dipping in the brook. There were so many baby toads, it was a really special experience for the kids to find them.

The main inspiration when planning the project was to engage people to ‘Grow Your Own Community’ literally by developing a lovely neighbourhood garden, but also for local residents to enjoy a variety of social outdoor activities to develop community support. So far the project is helping the neighbourhood to grow together, linking up neighbours and creating new friendship groups.

Community Garden

A community garden is being created on the green space behind the flats with around 30 people already signed up to be a part of its development. Following consultation with the keen gardeners, areas have been identified for raised beds, a poly tunnel, mini beast hotel, fruit trees, soft fruit, a mural and seating area. One resident said to WildPlay’s Jo Dainty, the project leader: “I’m so pleased there is something like this on my doorstep, I’m so lucky! Other gardens seem to be all outside the town and I just can’t get there.” There will also be monthly adult work parties at Newton Brook, a cooking club and playful parenting training in the spring of 2016. All activities aim to encourage local residents to get outdoors, benefiting both their physical health and mental wellbeing too!

Jo Dainty commented: ‘The project has really begun to gain momentum now with loads of people getting stuck into the gardening club and the work parties at Newton Brook. The community has really come together the support the project and it’s great to see people making new friends, getting out and having fun!

Getting Involved

If you live around the Hunderton area, and are interested in getting involved in the project, extra people are always welcome - the more the merrier! 

Donations welcome...

As ever, WildPlay are trying to reuse items as much as possible….someone recently compared them to Wombles!! If anyone has anything that they can donate to the community garden they would be very grateful. Seeds are going to be planted and a  minibeast hotel will be built so, if anyone has any compost, top soil, seed trays, garden tools, water butts, old bricks or tiles, canes, straw, woodchip or large pots they no longer need, please pass them on!

Cooking Club

For details of when Cooking Club is next on and how to get involved, see our Facebook Page or contact Jo on 01432 356872 / j.dainty@herefordshirewt.co.uk 

Nature Conservation Club

For details of when Nature Conservation Clu is next on and how to get involved, see our Facebook Page or contact Jo on 01432 356872 / j.dainty@herefordshirewt.co.uk 

Wildplay

For details of when WildPlay are next running activities at Villa Street, see our Facebook Page or contact Jo on 01432 356872 / j.dainty@herefordshirewt.co.uk

For more information on the ‘Grow Your Own Community’ project, please contact Jo Dainty at j.dainty@herefordshirewt.co.uk or call 01432 356872. You can also check out the project's lively Facebook page.