10XGreener Crowdfunder for a Rutley Grove Postcode Gardener – Supported by Friends of the Earth
Following the success of the Friends of the Earth supported 10xGreener project in London earlier this year, we have been chosen as one of 10 projects to feature in a follow-up fundraising campaign as the initiative starts to grow across the country. This pilot project successfully smashed its target to provide a dedicated postcode gardener to the E5 postcode area, and we want to achieve the same for the Welsh House Farm estate in Birmingham - to have a dedicated gardener to develop, alongside residents, a new community garden space on a previously unused plot of land.
Why is this community garden needed?
The Rutley Grove Community Garden is needed to provide safe and accessible green space to the many residents who don’t have their own gardens or who encounter various barriers to using the space they do have. The development of this space will positively engage residents in making beneficial changes to their environment. It will also provide volunteering opportunities in the development and maintenance of the space and the chance for both adults and children to learn new skills in gardening and other outdoor activities.
There are known benefits gained from having access to outdoor and green spaces, including improved mental health, physical activity, and social interaction for example. A 2013 study showed a link between neighbourhood green space and better cardiovascular and mental health (1), while a 2009 study found a relationship between green space and certain physician-assessed morbidities, in addition to the previously established link with self-reported physical and mental wellbeing (2). This study also “stresses the importance of green space close to home for children and lower socioeconomic groups.” Increased green surroundings in a neighbourhood can also reduce the amount of sedentary leisure time of nearby residents (3) and in response to other urban issues, improved green space and vegetation has also been linked to a reduction in crime rates. (4)
Providing an opportunity to local children to access and use this green space can bring the benefits of increased physical activity as well as an introduction to healthy eating through ‘grow-your-own’ learning. (5)
The overall community can also benefit through increased social cohesion by bringing together people of different ages and backgrounds to work towards a common goal and enjoy a shared green space which will help to increase pride, ownership, and respect to the neighbourhood. (5)
Who is involved?
In order to ensure the space will meet the needs of Welsh House Farm residents, a consultation has been conducted by the Cultivation Street 2018 shortlisted and Birmingham in Bloom 2017 winning group the WHF Green Grafters, and the WHF Big Local Partnership. In speaking to residents, it was understood that there's a real need and enthusiasm for a community garden to be developed at Rutley Grove. Specific elements which came to the fore were seating, play areas, flower beds and wildlife areas.
How will this work?
To make this happen, we need a dedicated Rutley Grove Postcode Gardener to take a lead on engaging residents and coordinating support to develop this new garden space. We are aiming to raise £5000 to provide at least 1 day a week initially to get the project set up and well underway. The gardener will work alongside the volunteers of the WHF Green Grafters, the WHF Big Local Partnership and any other partners which are connected with the project.
The site itself has been secured from Birmingham City Council through the WHF Big Local Partnership and initial work to clear and secure the site ready for development is in progress.
Thank you for your support!
*As well as donations and pledges of support from individuals, we also welcome donations, pledges of time or resources, and sponsorship interest from groups, organisations and companies.