Imagine a Bideford that makes you smile every time you turn into the High Street or wonder what's growing every time you get off your bike or park your car. A place people want to be and to spend time.
At the moment in the town centre Cooper Street looks beautiful with the hanging baskets brightening up the space- and the Town Council have organised for the same to happen all along Mill Street for next year. But the High Street? Allhalland Street? Bridge Street, even Bridgeland Street?
Who we are
The Bideford Town Centre Partnership and the Bideford Sustainability Group (who've been working on brightening up the Honestone car park for the last year) are working with the Friends of the Earth to take on our first community "Postcode" gardener and make the project come alive for at least the next year. We want to make the town centre 10x greener but also to see it come alive with edibles available to everyone to pick and eat (having washed it first, of course!!).
Imagine parking in the Bridge Street car park and checking whether the bank of strawberries are ready to pick yet...
Need some herbs? Help yourself!
Kids want an apple? Better come back next week, they're not quite ready yet.
If we can raise enough money then the community gardener will also be able to support people who live in the town centre as well, making the streets healthier, brighter places to be. Little pockets of green and colour will go a long, long way! Especially if they help bring the community together and give people an opportunity to make a difference.
Why we want to do it
The work that's taken place in the Honestone car park since May has made it a space buzzing with wildlife that looks great.
More importantly, though, it's got lots of people working together, smiling and taking pride in their space.
But all of this costs money. Even small contributions go a long way and will make a massive difference to the town centre and to how we all use it. But to make the spaces really come alive we'd love to get more and more people involved as well, so please leave a comment about what we can do (please keep it positive!) and equally if you'd like to get your hands dirty with the project!
Lots more important questions...
What is #10xGreener?
Supported by Friends of the Earth, 10 x Greener is a pilot project to inspire and support the residents to make town centres greener and better for people, nature and the environment in the process. We all know town centres are struggling, but we need to make sure it comes alive!
How much Postcode Gardener time are we crowdfunding for?
We are want to raise enough funding to cover one or more gardeners for at least 350 hours per year.
What happens if you don’t crowdfund enough money?
We will not go ahead with the project but will contact the people who have gotten involved to see if there is a way forward regardless.
What happens if you crowdfund more money?
We would love to have a team of two or three Postcode Gardeners as we would be able to achieve so much more. Extra funding would also be used to buy plants and other things to help make the neighbourhood #10xGreener.
What happens when the year is up?
This is a pilot project. We are hoping to prove that a Postcode Gardener is an amazing asset for the community and something that people want to invest in longer term.
I live in the town centre. Will they be my private gardener?
No. They will be able to give advice, support and we may be able to help, but would want to talk to you separately about that. The crucial thing is to make the town look and feel great. And be tasty and healthy.
Can I choose what plants are planted?
At the start of the project we want to hear from the community about spaces that need some love and ideas that they've got. Always wished someone would do something about that spot over there that you always walk past... Now's our chance!
What services will the gardener offer?
They will be focused on making the entire neighbourhood greener and better for nature, so will spend more time in greyer places in the town centre that need more love.
When will the Postcode Gardener start their work?
As soon as we've got the money together and can find the right person to make the project come alive!
When will I be able to see a difference in the neighbourhood?
The greatest changes will be seen next summer, after they’ve had a while to prepare spaces, planted seeds and helped them to grow.
Do I need any skills to get involved?
What if I have a relevant complaint, spot a problem or see an opportunity?
Contact us and we’ll do our best to help you. While the Postcode Gardener will be able to help with some things, others will be the responsibility of the council or other organisations.
What specifically can I do to help?
Plant lots and lots of plants and put them in highly visible places. The more people who do this, the greater the culture we will create of making Bideford #10xGreener! Of course, we’d love for you to help fund the Postcode Gardener too.
I have an idea that could help?
Great! Please contact us (see below).
How can I contribute if I have no money to spare?
Please message us and let us know you are interested in volunteering- this is a community project, after all.
Can I give seeds, soil and plant pots?
The Postcode Gardener will organise days and ways for this to happen.
How will we share any edible produce?
Where we do grow produce (like herbs and other things) the Postcode Gardener will organise days and ways for this to happen. But if you need something, feel free to take some- but remember to make sure there's enough for others as well!
Is the gardener insured?
Will the gardener pick up litter?
The gardener will not replace council services, but they will help to make the neighbourhood tidier.
Will the gardener collect household items?
I’m a business. Can I help in some special way?
We would love that. Please contact us on email@example.com or through Facebook (Littlegreentown) or Twitter (@littlegreentown).
Who else is involved?
The project is supported by the environment charity, Friends of the Earth.
Who is Friends of the Earth?
Friends of the Earth is the influential environment charity with a long history of successes in areas as diverse as recycling, climate change and saving wildlife habitats and species.