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How to be a Neighbourhood Gardener

21st May 2004

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Monty Don - How to be a Neighbourhood GardenerCould you dig for Britain? We don't just mean digging-up potatoes or turnips - community gardens all over the country rely upon the passion and dedication of hundreds of volunteer gardeners.

Presenter Monty Don, a familiar face on many gardening programmes, will introduce us to a variety of community gardening projects around the country.

These secret havens are green oases and have helped people recover from serious illnesses as research has shown how therapeutic gardening can be. It also provides a space for inner-city kids to get close to nature and has given people, who have never felt the soil between their fingers, the chance to experience the satisfaction of watching something grow from seed. This is all due to the thousands of neighbourhood gardeners.

The Community Channel will be screening a programme called 'How to be a Neighbourhood Gardener' in support of the BBC's annual Neighbourhood Gardeners scheme which was launched in April. It hopes to inspire the green-fingered to share their knowledge with other people who want to learn more about gardening.

One project is 'Thrive', a national horticultural charity set-up to enable disadvantaged, disabled and older people to participate fully in community life. It believes that gardening not only strengthens communities, but can also help improve the quality of life. Monty meets three people who have benefited from the charity's work.

The programme shows how children and parents helped to create the Sensory Garden at the Kerrier Healthy Living Centre in Cambourne, Cornwall which was one of the first communities to benefit from the Neighbourhood Gardeners scheme.

The programme will also visit a community food-growing project in Bradford where the community work together to grow their own organic fruit and veg.

Organisations

Community Service Volunteers
Works to reconnect people to their communities through volunteering and training. It has thousands of volunteering opportunities for people wanting to give time.
Groundwork
Is a federation of local trusts which work to improve the quality of the local environment, the lives of local people and the success of local businesses.
Heart Garden
The Heart Garden community project is run by Art in the Park in a green space near the Elephant and Castle in London. Heart patients and other people with long term illnesses come to the gardens to spend time in the open air and get a taste for gardening and the arts.
Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens
There are community gardens all around the UK - contact the Federation to find one near you.
British Trust for Conservation Volunteers
It needs volunteers to help run practical conservation projects across the UK.
Soil Association
Works to raise awareness about the positive health and environmental benefits of organic food. It also supports farmers to help them produce natural organic food consumers can trust.
The National Trust
A charity which acquires and protects the nation's threatened coastline, countryside and buildings.The National Trust
Tree Council
A charity which aims to improve the environment in town and country by promoting the planting and conservation of trees and woods throughout the United Kingdom.

Follow the links to view similar stories:
Environment/Regeneration, Art/Culture/Heritage, Rural, Fund Raising/Volunteering

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