The Cultivation Street 2017 campaign has reached its highest point, and after much hard work our expert judges have named the Cultivation Street Community Garden Winner 2017!
The deliberations have been tremendously exciting this year for the judges, with so many incredible projects to choose from, but this garden stood out from the crowd.
Receiving the top prize of £10,000 in National Garden Gift Vouchers this year is Shettleston Community Growing Project, an incredible community garden and allotment in Glasgow, Scotland that is doing tremendous things for their urban neighbourhood.
COMMUNITY GARDEN NATIONAL WINNER
Shettleston Community Growing Project, Glasgow
The Shettleston Community Growing Project was set up in 2009 by local people who wished to grow food for themselves and their families. They wanted to turn the derelict and unloved space into an attractive and productive community allotment and orchard.
This project has two different sides: an allotment for growing food in containers, and a beautifully tended community garden area for people to relax and enjoy the plants. The community garden area was originally intended to be an orchard, but soil contamination in the are meant that it would not be suitable for growing fruit trees. The local residents were consulted and they decided to turn it into the community garden it is today. Having these two aspects makes it a really well-rounded project that benefits the community in many ways.
The residents felt there was a need for this little piece of tranquillity in the area. Now, instead of the derelict piece of waste ground that used to stand here, the community has a place for insects, wildlife and humans to enjoy for many years to come.
The garden aims to be a place for everyone to enjoy, drawing in the local community to interact and enjoy the space. They run a children’s group called “The Smelly Welly Club”, offer gardening to a local school for children with autism, and local girl guides and the plot-holders’ children also come down to help in the garden, making it a truly multi-generational project.
They also hold Family Fun Days, classes of various kinds including free Basic Horticultural Skills courses, and many more services to the neighbourhood.
In the years that the growing project has been around literally hundreds of volunteers and young people have at some point helped in the creation of the garden and allotments, and they say it’s these volunteers that have made it what it is today.
“We are absolutely over the moon, delighted, and it was totally unexpected! We never expected to win the category we entered. We thought we were just a normal allotment and community garden, the same as everyone else, and we are absolutely amazed and humbled that we have won.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank David and EVERYONE else involved in Cultivation street for picking our project, and I cannot express how much of a difference these vouchers will make to the local community. I would also like to thank David for spending so much time with everyone, young and old, at our project this morning, and for making everyone feel so important. Truly remarkable and thanks from the bottom of my heart.
I have no idea what we are going to spend the money on, because we thought we had won £500 until today, and now we have 20 times that! But the money will be put to good use and hopefully the project will flourish and expand thanks to the prize. I have plenty of ideas, but we will all have to discuss it together, the members, the plot-holders, and the kids as well. I am but a small cog in a big wheel and without volunteers, plot holders and everyone else involved, past and present, the project would not be what it is today.”
Kenny McCubbin, Project Co-ordinator
Shettleston could not be more deserving of being crowned the Community Garden Winner for 2017 and the top prize that goes with it. These folks have created something that epitomises everything a community garden should be. They have taken a discarded and poisoned piece of land and they have transformed it into something both beautiful and productive that benefits the whole community around them. People from different generations, cultures, and economic situations are coming together, forming strong local bonds, sharing skills and knowledge, learning and having great times together.
The tremendous community spirit of these dedicated and generous volunteers has totally inspired myself and the whole Cultivation Street team. This is the kind of community garden project that transforms neighbourhoods, and our dream at Cultivation Street is to share stories like Shettleston to inspire others, and together to transform the whole nation through the power of gardening together.