At the beginning of 2009 Luis Dias from Catch22, the young people's charity and Simon Smith from the Avon Wildlife Trust worked with a group of young people on a large area of ground within their local community that was covered in 5 feet of brambles, car tyres, shopping trolleys and other waste. The group worked hard during the colder months to clear the land for spring and within weeks had the site ready for planting.
In a short time the young people were already enjoying the fruits of the labour and were taking home produce for their families that they had grown themselves. The group also has plans to set up a stall at the local famers market with a view to selling their produce in order to buy seeds for next year’s crop.
The young people enjoy the high energy activities such as bramble bashing and digging but are also learning that they need to slow down and understand that some things, such as growing vegetables, aren’t instant.
Towards the end of the season the young people built a wildlife pond on the site to encourage insects, reptiles and amphibians into the space to act as a form of natural pest control.
Plans are also on the cards for further clearance work, a seating area and a earthen oven where they will be able to cook their own produce on site, allowing them to have delicious and healthy meals with a zero carbon footprint.
2010 has been a successful year for the team with Luis and one of the young people from the project, Joe meeting Princess Anne and the allotment winning a gold medal from Bristol in Bloom in the Best Allotment Category and a gold for Best Scarecrow.