Now is the time when many gardeners are browsing catalogues full of abundant vegetables and ordering seeds. Often without reference to the draw full of packets that didn’t get planted last year, or arrived stuck on the front of a gardening magazine. Sharing and swapping seeds can help keep costs down, encourage us all to try new vegetable varieties, and learn from each other’s successes and failures from last year. Without scaremongering it may be that growing more food locally, and perhaps even in your own back garden, will reduce our reliance on imported fresh vegetables, fruit and salads should Brexit negotiations cause disruption to freight movement.
With this in mind, and dreams of reducing out food miles in general, Alice Park Community Gardeners hosted their first ‘seedy Sunday’ at Alice Park Community Garden on the 10th of March 2019 at 11 – 12pm. There were crafty activities for families based on a seedy theme, sowing seeds for the garden and making seed ‘bombs’ from clay and compost for any latent guerrilla gardeners in the Parish.
You can join our seed swap by donating any spare seeds or unwanted seed packets to swap and share. There will be some unusual beans and unusual heritage varieties to take away from experienced seed savers for a small donation. Donated seed packets can be swapped for others; if you don’t have any to bring you can make a small donation for any seeds that you like the sound of. There will be top tips on growing from seed and on saving your own seeds, as we hope more people will be saving seeds from plants that thrive in our microclimate, and in future will form a living community ‘library’ of vigorous vegetables and fruit to boost our food security locally. We hope later in the year to run a seed saving workshop for people wanting more in depth information.
Alice Park Community Garden is also a place for sowing ideas and germinating connections in the community. We’re delighted to announce the beginning of a weekly drop in session on Tuesday mornings 10 – 1pm, organised by Greenlinks, a wellbeing project run by Bath Mind. The sessions are aimed at anyone wanting to improve their wellbeing, learn new skills, and build friendships and confidence. Sessions will be informal, no prior gardening experience is needed and tools will be provided. A professional horticulturist will guide activities which will include sowing seeds, potting on, weeding and later in the year harvesting fresh food from the garden. The sessions are free although a donation of £2 is requested to cover the cost of refreshments.
Alice Park Community Garden are also looking for ‘Garden Guardians’ to help the garden flourish. Volunteers are needed both hands on tending the garden and also doing backroom jobs such as fundraising, publicity, accounts and IT skills in general. Enthusiasm is more important than anything else as training can be provided for most tasks. For those wishing to help get the garden ready for spring there is a volunteer work day on Sunday 24th 11 – 1pm. No contribution too small, we need people such as pruners, weeders, seed sowers, woodworkers, tidy-uppers and tea makers. Can you help even for half an hour? Wear stout footwear and bring waterproofs. Tools and refreshments will be provided.
21st September (Saturday) 10 -1pm What to grow now for fresh vegetables through Winter into Spring. Practical session including sowing seeds, and top tips on saving your own seeds.
29th September (Sunday volunteer session) 10-1pm Wildlife Pond Practical Skillshare –pond dipping plus help us clear excess vegetation – FREE plants on offer. Wellingtons essential. Children will need adult supervision.
27th October (Sunday) 10-1pm Compost making and usage, compost teas, using biochar and mulches. Practical ideas to boost your soil’s fertility and microbe populations.
24th November (Sunday) Food Forest Skillshare- What is a food forest? Basic concepts explained and applied on a small scale on site.
1st December (Sunday) 10-1pm Festive Wreath Making in the barn. Natural materials provided.
The grant will enable us to buy appropriate plants, to encourage community participation and run practical workshops to learn forest gardening techniques. Planting tasks are spread over the year and help is needed to lay out and plant up the food forest. Later in the year, we plan to feast on the fruit’s of our labours, teaching local people how to identify and taste produce from the garden.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or arrive on site to a very warm welcome.
In 2012 Joanna Wright began a campaign to create a skate park on the East of Bath. The East of Bath has approximately 10,000 young people and very few play provisions for them.
To generate support a paper petition was created and handed in to a full B&NES Council Meeting in 2013. Together with Emmanuel Campion-Dye, Beinn Wright and Joanna Wright, reasons were given for a skate park . The Council, then led by the Liberal Democrats, put aside £100,000 towards building a skate park in Alice Park.
A B&NES consultation in November of 2014 asked local residents their views on the proposed skate facility. Council Officers were very impressed with the level of response to the consultation and 2 to 1 were in favour of a skate park.
To date the skate park has not been built because B&NES Council had failed to set up a formal Trust for Alice Park when the land was given to the young people of Bath in 1937. At a recent Council Meeting a majority Conservative Council approved the measure to set up a Charitable Trust to administer Alice Park. Tim Warren, Leader of B&NES Council agreed to meet people from the local community and explain how this Trust will operate.
New governance arrangements for Alice Park
A meeting on the new governance for Alice Park, organised by “Transition Larkhall”, took place on 8th June 2016 . All members of the public were welcome and questions from the floor were be taken. This meeting was attended by Cllr, Tim Warren, Leader of B&NES and Cllr Martin Veal, Cllr Rob Appleyard and Cllr Lin Patterson.
Minutes of Transition Larkhall Meeting 8th June 2016
Alice Park was gifted to the community for the primary benefit of young people.
Friends of Alice Park
Cllr Lin Patterson, Lambridge Ward states:
“Clarity is emerging about how Alice Park will be run under a new structure. It is not an arrangement designed to please everybody. There is much public feeling about Alice Park by users and nearby residents, as we saw at the lively June 8th public meeting. So in order to involve people who care about the Park, a public meeting to form a grass-roots Friends of Alice Park group was held in New Oriel Hall on Wednesday 13th July at 7:30pm. Don’t worry if you can’t make it on that night because there are sure to be follow-up meetings when anyone with an interest is welcome.
Since the Council remains the ultimate Trustee of the Park, they set up a Trust Board to have overall responsibility for decisions. The Board then appoints three of their number onto a specific Alice Park Committee. Only these three have with voting rights, including Rob Appleyard, the other councillor for Lambridge ward. I will be on the committee, but in a non-voting capacity, and there will be two independent people deemed as bringing necessary skills to the committee, also non-voting. Other members may be asked to join, although they too will not have voting rights. The skateboard facility will undergo another public consultation. For this to work, we need a Friends group.”
Please feel welcome to attend the meeting on 13th July 7.30pm at the Oriel Hall to form a grass-roots Friends of Alice Park group.