Welcome to Buile Hill park, (Seedley south side).
Home of the famous Salford Croquet Club, ready to welcome you. (Make a donation and you could win an afternoon on the Croquet field, with tuition and encouragement included. Have a go!)
(Supported by The Friends of Buile Hill Park.)
Croquet field on the right, pavilion on the left.
This is what the Seedley park site used to look like, before it started blooming, two years ago. It was lonely, and a little unloved. Now, with the building painted outside and awaiting students from Salford College to start work on the essential improvements to its interior, and the brambles and weeds beginning to be cleared away from the railings by our many volunteers, the area is looking good, and far more approachable. The gates are open Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons at the moment, and we’re hoping that new funding will allow us to extend these hours.
(We're also open Sunday morning, for the runners. But who wants to get up that early?)
Did someone say painting?
That’s the elected Mayor of Salford, Mr Paul Dennett, with a paintbrush in his hand, (one hand, ice cream in the other).
Thank you, Mr Mayor. Every little helps!
(Paintbrushes on loan. Paint made available from begging local firms. If only we had some funding, it could all go so much smoother.)
Here’s the Pavilion on a cold day, with all the shutters up.
But still, there’s bunting on the railings and tomatoes and sunflowers against the fence.
We do what we can, but if we had funding, we could make the inside warmer, more homely, and ready for the winter, (and add some accessible raised beds outside the fence, for local people to use).
Herre’s the Pavilion with recent visitors. Time for a picnic!
Our welcome guests were from the creative writing group, ‘It’ll be all right on the Height’, as well as members of the Dry Bar monthly Open Mic night, run by Poison Apple Theatre Company.
Luckily, it was a sunny day - and they brought their own table!
(And food. One day, we hope the Pavilion will be able to offer snacks and light meals, but we will need major work on the kitchen and professional training for volunteers to staff it. Right now, we’re limited to hot drinks and small packets of biscuits.)
We've also been lucky enough to have regular visits from the Salford Singers, a great local choir, plus opera from their tutor, and solo singers like Tony Easom, Amber, and The Jane and Mike Band.
Thanks to them. We hope for more happy tunes in the future.
Raised beds, in the heart of the growing area, shaded by trees.
Individual plots on the right, and communal ground based plots on the left. (These sections are administered by ‘Incredible Edible Salford’. Our philosophy is that people can help plant and grow, then pick and eat, when harvest arrives. Anybody can come and help themselves, in a usual 'Incredible Edible' project, as long as they only take what they need, and leave the rest for others, following on. Luckily, on our Seedly site, there are volunteers available to keep an eye on blooming plants, and things that are ready are put on The Produce Table, near the entrance. Help yourselves!)
‘Incredible Edible’ is a movement that started in Todmorden, Yorkshire in 2007 and has spread around the world. A self-administered local group in Salford started in 2013. The first Development Worker was Ian Bocock, who later went on to found an independent group called ‘Incredible Education’. A Co-Founder and early Chair of ‘Incredible Edible Salford’ was Mark Frith, who is now resident in this project, the Buile Hill Green and Growing Project (Seedley south side). Mark can be found on site most days when the gates are open, and some days when they are not. He puts in a lot of hours! (And is a volunteer. If we can get funding we hope to pay sessional workers for training workshops, therapy and counselling and Open Days. Already we have a yoga teacher providing regular sessions on the grass - but she is our guest and is Self-Employed!)
The Green and Growing Project might not exist without strong support from the community, the volunteers, commercial companies and the Local Authority.
This recent visit included representatives from Salford City Council, Salford College, Lovell the builders, North West of England Allotment Association, RHS Bridgewater, and Incredible Edible Salford (Ordsall Branch).
Volunteers and plot holders would like to give a big shout out to all these groups for their interest and continuing enthusiasm.
(Of course, now that we’ve started the Crowdfunder campaign, we’re hoping that many of these groups and firms will feel able to join in and donate real money. That’s the way we can take the project to the next level.)
The Mayor of Salford couldn’t make it that day, but here he is again (on right), with Mark Frith, Volunteer Co-ordinator and Site Manager.
The raised beds are in the background. The long lengths are split into sections for individuals. Many are in need of repair, and the ground they are on - because it used to be a bowling green - includes a layer of sand on top of clay. It’s a drainage nightmare. New funding will enable us to establish plots that would be easier to manage in the long term and allow us to extend the range of plants that would do well in this setting.
Improvements to the site so far include laying out a Woodland Walk and a wildlife pond, using the naturally flowing streams on Buile Hill itself.
Thank you for your interest in reading this far and hope you will join us in continuing the story into the future.
Pickle would like to thank you in person. Come and visit us!