What’s on this week…

There loads to get involved with over the next few days with Wellingborough Eco Group. It all starts today with our Happy Café, where you can have a free tea or coffee at ECO HUB, and then Tuesday continues with our Food Sharers, Swap Shop and Tuesday Tidy Ups.

Wednesday is out at the allotment, then back inside with The Polish Community Group. Thursday has another Happy Café and Polish Community Group, then Friday has our kids club and then something new in the evening, there’s lots to do, but always time for tea…

Tuesday11 Apr 2023

12:00pm – 2:00pm – Happy Café
2:00pm – 6:00pm – Food Sharers
2:00pm – 6:00pm – Wellingborough Swap Shop
2:00pm – 6:00pm – Tuesday Tidy Ups

Wednesday12 Apr 2023

10:00am – 2:00pm – Community Allotment Working Party*
6:00pm – 8:00pm – Polish Community Group

Thursday13 Apr 2023

12:00pm – 2:00pm – Happy Café
6:00pm – 8:00pm – Polish Community Group

Friday14 Apr 2023

10:00am – 2:00pm – Eco Club for Kids!
6:00pm – 8:00pm – NEW ‘Replay’ Fun Fridays

All above at ECO HUB Glamis Hall except * Community Allotment Working Party which is at Ladywell Allotments. Further details available at https://wellingboroughecogroup.org.uk and on project Facebook groups (click links).

Join in, get involved, go ECO HUB!

What did we do in 22?

Thank you for being with us for a dramatic and successful year, we’ve all been on a journey of discovery and fulfilment, starting new things and sharing things too. What has been the highlight for you? Here’s a little guide to what we’ve been up to…

January

The year started with Swap Shops, Green Drinks, a Repair Café and gardening at our Community Allotment. Swap Shops were full of food from Redeem Funds and people were getting used to our Tuesday afternoon sessions in the Community Room at Glamis Hall. These also hosted our Tuesday Tidy Ups with Wellie Wombles where litter pickers came in for cup of tea. Green Drinks had six people attend and the Community Allotment was looking very tidy after a successful first year.

We planted 45 more ‘Queen’s Trees’ whips at our Community Allotment Tree Nursery, making 200+ trees available to groups, charities, churches and schools for the Queen’s Green Canopy as part of Jubilee celebrations in Wellingborough. 17 people joined our end of month litter pick at a very windy Dale End Park and we picked 47 bags full of litter, a chair, a road works barrier and cycle handlebars.

February

We celebrated the first birthday of Wellie Wombles at the UGLY MUG café, and at Tuesday Tidy Ups at Glamis Hall. Our Repair Café was at Glamis Hall‘s Indoor Car Boot Sale, where we relaunched Wellingborough Swap Shop as a swap or donate project. The following Tuesday we also launched Food Sharers to save even more food from going in the bin.

In partnership with Glamis Hall we started the Wellingborough Climate Action project with an invitation to Climate Conversations and promised a year long project to look at solutions for the climate crisis. With other Wellingborough Organisations and the Co-op, New Community Resilience Forums started for local people and organisations to work on helping the community cope with the cost of living crisis.

We finished off the month with our monthly Two Hour Tidy Up, where 22 litter heroes picked 49 bags full of litter, a chair, a shopping trolley, three child car seats, a tyre and a mattress at Newcomen Road Community Garden and on the surrounding streets.

March

We held three Climate Conversations with the Wellingborough Climate Action Project, at Glamis Hall, the Victoria Centre and Hemmingwell Skills and Community Centre. 60 delegates gave their points of view during the events, which included presentations from Councillor Ed Gemmell, North Northamptonshire Council, Electric Corby, the Green Party and Wellingborough Eco Group. The events were a great opportunity for local residents to find out more about climate change.

We cleared our Community Allotment Ready for planting, whilst Food Sharers and Swap Shop really took off in March, our Tuesday afternoons had never been so busy. Food Sharers saved free food for you, with collections from shops and more from Redeem Funds and Glamis Hall. Our Wellingborough Swap Shop bring, swap or buy sale had lots of books and other items.

On the last Saturday of the month, 35 #LitterHeroes took part in the Great British Spring Clean Two Hour Tidy Up in Wellingborough Town Centre, run in partnership with Wellingborough Town Council who are supplied our Wellie Wombles with new kit. We picked 50 bags of litter, five shopping trolleys, traffic cones and various cardboard boxes.

April

April kicked off with our regular Tuesday Tidy Ups, Food Sharers, Swap Shop and Green Drinks. Swap Shop started doing clothes and this proved very popular, saving loads of items from landfill and saving people lots of money! Repair Café during the indoor car boot sale fixed lots of items including a phone charger, key rings, dog collar, dog harness, vacuum cleaner, strimmer and a laptop fixed by Jonathan, and on her debut as a repairer a hiking pole and perfume bottle were fixed by Judy!

Pop up Swap Shops at Glamis Hall’s indoor car boot and at Animals in Need where we also had a Teddy and Easter Egg Tombola! Gina started her Community Garden on Hardwick Road by building raised beds, ably assisted by a few Eco Group volunteers; and lots of trees were distributed from the Community Allotment Tree Nursery as part of our Queen’s Green Canopy project, to community organisations and local councils in and around Wellingborough, including St Marks Church, Finedon Town Council and Greatwell Homes.

And at the end of the month Wellingborough Swap Shop collected lots of clothes, toys, books and crockery from Rushden Transport Museum as part of Nick Knowles Big House Clearout; and 23 litter heroes took part in our Two Hour Tidy for the Waendal Walk in Castlefields park and along the Embankment, picking up 29 bags full of litter, a shopping trolley, an incinerator and an upholstered box.

May

Wellingborough Climate Action Project started their workshops with four Energy Savers sessions, all focused on saving energy, understanding how we use it efficiently and thinking about renewable energy generation. The first on the 19th was Energy Basics, we discussed the basics about saving energy at home or at work and highlighted any quick wins. This was all about sharing ideas with those that joined us. There was also an Energy Use workshop at the end of the month.

Wellingborough Swap Shop was at Glamis Hall‘s Outdoor Car Boot Sale in the Community Room and all items were available for swaps or a small donation to the group. Our Repair Café was in the reception of Glamis Hall, but was very quiet. We held an Indoor Second Hand Market at Wilby Working Men’s Club and had a Plant Sale at Wellingborough Swap Shop at the end of the month.

Our Two Hour Tidy Up was in Croyland Gardens, where 16 litter picking heroes swept, lifted and picked 21 bags of litter, plus a scooter, piece of carpet and a full bag of compost! Wellingborough Library held a Jubilee Scarecrow festival, and both Wellingborough Eco Group and Wellie Wombles entered scarecrows.

June

At our Community Allotment, had a lot of stuff to get in, with plants left over from Wellingborough Swap Shop and more donated. Summer had started and there was no time to waste, but the flowers and weeds had taken over, so there was plenty to do! And we still had trees to go in for the Queens Green Canopy at out Tree Nursery too.

Wellingborough Climate Action Project’s Energy Savers Workshops continued with an Energy Saving Workshop and concluded the series with a Renewable Energy and Heating Workshop; in the second half of that workshop, we looked at Renewable Heating in greater detail, with a presentation from Darleen McCullough of Energywise Wales.

We had the Repair Café and Wellingborough Swap Shop on Saturday 11th June, in the Community Room and had a couple of other stalls with us outside. Our Repair Café looked at 3 printers, a lamp, a toaster, a hoover and a clock; and the Saturday Swap Shop had loads of stuff too, so much so we had books, DVDs and toys outside! Tuesday Swap Shops and Food Sharers continued with even more food and drink available, plus lots of great pre-loved items to swap or for a small donation.

15 litter picking heroes that took part in our Two Hour Tidy Up at the Bassett’s Close at the Armed Forces Family Fun Day. We picked 16 bags of litter, a plank of wood and a broken scooter. Thank you also to Dave from North Northants Council collected the bags. We also had a games stall at Fun Day and a great day was had by all.

July

We held a Wellingborough Swap Shop’s Big Summer Clear Out where we invited people to bring 1 bag, bring £2, bring yourself and fill their bag with clothes, books, DVDs, bric-a-brac and toys. Larger items was priced but nothing was more than £5. Weekly Swap Shops, Food Sharers and Tuesday Tidy Ups continued every Tuesday afternoon. We also held a games stall at Glamis Hall’s Family Festival.

Wellingborough Climate Action Project’s Sustainable Workshops started with a series of sessions looking at all aspects of sustainability. The first was an Assessing Our Impact Workshop and later in the month a Transition Workshop. At this workshop we looked at what does a sustainable life and work look and feel like and how can we get there (you can watch any of the workshops by clicking the links) The month concluded with a Sustainable Buildings Workshop.

This month’s special Love Parks Week group litter pick took place in Hemmingwell Park. 20 litter picking heroes that took part in our Two Hour Tidy Up and picked 56 bags of litter, a chair, some carpet and a shopping trolley, with the Hemmingwell Community & Skills Centre making us all cups of tea and coffee.

August

In August we were very excited to announce ECO HUB, the new home for Wellingborough Eco Group! Opening from 1st September 2022 and available 7 days a week at Glamis Hall in the Community Room for lots of events and activities. Heather Saunders, Chair of Trustees at Glamis Hall and Jonathan Hornett, Secretary of Wellingborough Eco Group, signed the lease this week for this exciting new facility.

The month started with Swap Shop, Food Sharers, Tuesday Tidy Ups and Green Drinks as usual, 7 people enjoyed a drink at The Queen’s Head on the first Tuesday of the month. Swap Shop and Food Sharers again was getting popular, with more food to share every week, including sandwiches and fridge food from Co-op Redhill. Shap shop had an abundance of toys, which kept the local kids happy. We also had a stall at the Town Council’s Summer Art Festival at ‘The Beach’ in Wellingborough Town Centre.

Wellingborough Climate Action Project’s summer series of Sustainability Workshops continued with with a workshop on Food and Waste. Jonathan lead an interactive workshop, ably assisted by Marion, plus Kerry from Food For Thought and Mary from Redeem Funds, who both presented their own sections. A further Moving to Sustainable Transport Workshop considered our transport options, with most modes and we compared their impacts.

Working Parties continued at the Community Allotment every Wednesday afternoon, but the weeds were winning and our Queen’s Trees were needing plenty of watering. Our end of month litter pick was a Bank Holiday Special, so we decided to tidy up the Town Centre and hold our second stall of the month on the market, this time with a community focus. 13 people who turned out for our monthly Two Hour Tidy Up and lots of little bits of litter picked, 15 bags filled!

September

To mark ECO HUB‘s opening day on the 1st September, we had a Celebration Café with free tea, coffee, cakes and pop, to start our ECO HUB with a pop! We then held an Energy Savers Workshop for people to come to and find out how saving energy saves you money. September also marks our third birthday, plenty to celebrate then! Join in, get involved, go ECO HUB!

New projects were added, Eco-Crafters on Wednesdays 1-3pm, Happy Cafes on Thursdays 12-2pm and Eco Club for Kids on Fridays 12-3pm. Repair Cafés were re-started and Swap Shops, Food Sharers and Tuesday Tidy Ups continued in their normal slot of 2-6pm. At the end of the month it was the Great Big Green Week, and we opened everyday with a different project on each!

This included a Climate Café and a Two Hour Tidy Up at ECO HUB, litter picking Queensway Park, where 15 litter pickers picked 25 bags of litter, a bike, some metal poles and various plastic things. The Climate Café was very popular, particularly with thirsty Wellie Wombles! We also made the teas at Wellingborough’s ‘Concert in the Park’ in Castlefields, serving up 95 cups of tea and coffee, plus snacks and lots of lovely homemade cakes.

Wellingborough Climate Action Project‘s Sustainability Workshops continued with a look at Nature and Pollution, where we discussed bio-diversity, talked about our impact on nature; and we then looked at air, water, land and plastic pollution, and at reducing waste in rivers and seas. To finish off with we worked on more sustainable living solutions.

October

We relaunched Repair Café on Saturday the 8th October 2022, at ECO HUB. We have set up a booking system, so people wanting items to be fixed are given a time slot to avoid waiting too long. Book your time slot now on our Repair Café page! Teas and cakes are also served to everyone who is attending.

The Co-op held their Sustainability Live event at ECO HUB on Thursday 6th October 12-2, for local people so they can find out about what the Co-op is doing to help tackle climate change and how they can play their part. Wellingborough Eco Group became a Co-op Local Community Fund cause, to find out more about our project and to choose us as your cause, click here https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/73956

We had a Swap Shop, Food Sharers and information stall at the Victoria Centre for One World Week event, because this time the theme was sustainability, and held our monthly Two Hour Tidy up there, where our 24 litter picking heroes this morning who filled 30 bags of litter, plus two trollies, carpet, a paint tub and a kids car seat at our monthly Two Hour Tidy Up today. Free coats for kids from LIVE Team were added to Swap Shops, whilst Tuesday Tidy Ups, Food Sharers, Eco-Crafters, Happy Cafes and Eco- Club for Kids sessions continued at ECO HUB.

Wellingborough Climate Action Project finished off the Sustainability Workshops with what we need to adapt and at ways to adapt. This was the final workshop of the series of eleven, so it started off with a review and finished off with a question-and-answer session. You can watch all of the Workshops and more at wcap.org.uk/video

November

November started as usual with Tuesday Tidy Ups, Swap Shop, Food Sharers and Green Drinks. Greatwell Homes joined us at the first Happy Café of the month with their Warm Homes Team to give residents help and advice on how to keep warm this winter. Other Happy Cafes included Replay Board Games and Energy Savers sessions. Eco-Crafters and Eco Club for Kids were having fun, plus we had a few working parties up at the Community Allotment.

We had a stall at Nenescape, Sywell Aerodrome sharing what we do with delegates attending the conference. Lots of other organisations here too with the 80+ people from business, local government and community history and nature focused organisations. We had a Repair Café, Baby Wellingborough Swap Shop at ECO HUB and Glamis Hall Indoor Boot Sale and a a one off Vegan Food Sharers at Northants Vegan Food and Cruelty Free Fair at Animals in Need. Northants Veggies and Vegans also held their first Vegan Winter Warmer at ECO HUB.

At our Two Hour Tidy Up, 30 litter picking heroes that joined in Castlefields Park and around the surrounding streets to fill 36 bags with litter, plus retrieved a piece of tarpaulin, a scooter, a shopping trolley, three gas bottles and a baby walker! 30 people also joined in on the 30th to plant trees from our Community Allotment Tree Nursery in Castlefields Park, donated to Wellingborough Town Council, to create a copse of Rowan trees for the Queen’s Green Canopy and one Oak for King Charles.

Wellingborough Climate Action Project held two more Climate Conversations with the first on Friday 25th November 2022 at the Victoria Centre and at Glamis Hall on the 1st December. Both had presentations from WCAP, plus speakers from Wellingborough Town Council at Victoria Centre. Wellingborough Eco Group also did a presentation at both.

December

December is Advent Calendar month, and we embrace this to tell you all about the the good things for the community and environment that are happening in and around Wellingborough. This year’s calendar focused in part on the new Warm Spaces that are popping up all around the town. Click on the link to see all of them.

Glamis Hall and Wellingborough Eco Group are hosting Winter Warm Spaces, these started in the ECO HUB on the 1st December and take place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, during December, January, February and March. We will also offer various themed Winter Warmers at weekends and Glamis Hall will offer a Winter Warm Space in their VIP Café on the second and fourth Saturday’s of the month.

ECO HUB has been really busy too, with Swap Shops and Food Sharers on Tuesdays and more. On Christmas Eve we held a special Food Sharers to recue food from local supermarkets in partnership with Redeem Funds. We opened again on Christmas Wednesday for an Unwanted Christmas Present Swap Shop too. Tonight Northants Veggies and Vegans are holding a New Year’s Eve Vegan Winter Warmer, and everyone is invited.

Wellingborough Climate Action Project‘s Climate Conversations continued at Glamis Hall on the 1st December. WCAP and Wellingborough Eco Group were this time joined by North Northants Council at Glamis Hall for a great conversation about the climate crisis and what we need to do about it.

A very busy year for Wellingborough Eco Group, thank you all for your support, hope to see you again soon, happy New Year everyone!

PLANTING TREES for the King and in remembrance of the Queen in Castlefields Park.

Ģreat turnout of around 30 people this morning to plant trees from our Community Allotment Tree Nursery, donated to Wellingborough Town Council, to create a copse of Rowan trees for the Queen’s Green Canopy and one Oak for King Charles.

The Mayor, Jonathan Ekins, lead the planting, ably supported by Town Councillors, all three Town Council staff and two experienced estates staff from North Northamptonshire Council. Joanne, Deputy Clerk, who collected the trees, guards and stakes from us at our Community Allotment last Wednesday, had all of the trees lined up ready for us to plant.

We supplied 30 Rowan trees, which turned out to be the perfect number because it meant that everyone who wanted to, got to plant their own tree, including local athletics celeb Anita Neal.

We planted one for the local Councillor, Marion Turner-Hawes, who has been watering the trees all summer, but unfortunately missed this due to illness. Great morning, well organised, well done and thank you all. ?

THE GREAT BIG GREEN WEEK continues at ECO HUB!

There’s lots more on this week for the Great Big Green Week at ECO HUB and beyond. Check out our calendar at https://teamup.com/ksonts3se6r3hff58p or below:

Today:

Eco-Crafters 1:00-3:00

Community Allotment Working Party* 1:30-3:30

Thursday:

Happy Cafe: 12:00-2:00

Friday:

ECO CLUB for Kids: 12:00-4:00

Community Resilience Forum**: 2:00-3:30

Saturday:

Allotment Tidy Up*: 9:00-3:00

All events at ECO HUB, Glamis Hall except:

*Community Allotment and Allotment Tidy Up at Ladywell Allotments, access via gates at end of Hillside Road, call 07311 705705 to get in.

**Community Resilience Forum on Zoom, register at https://wellingborough.org/site/community-resilience-forum/

Join in, get involved, go ECO HUB!

Plant Sale at Wellingborough Swap Shop!

Join Wellingborough Eco Group and Wellie Wombles this Tuesday afternoon 2-6 at Glamis Hall in their Community Room for all of this:

Wellingborough Swap Shop has plants galore plus lots of clothes, toys, books and crockery. Much of the clothing and household items have been saved from landfill for the Wellingborough Ukrainian guests and sponsors but there’s still loads left! All available as swaps or for a small donation.

Tuesday Tidy Ups, why not have a go at litter picking? We have the pickers, hoops and bags for you to borrow, the parks have been busy which unfortunately usually means so have the litter louts.

Food Sharers has lots of fresh food, saved from local supermarkets and it’s all FREE! Our food club has drinks, popcorn and more, plus tomato and strawberry plants so you can join in the spirit of our Community Allotment and grow your own.

Wellingborough Baby Bank is a new service linked to the Swap Shop. We’re accepting Baby clothes and essential items to help young families who are finding their finances squeezed by the cost of living crisis.

Plus, if that wasn’t enough already, we have FREE Fairtrade tea and coffee available from Co-op Member Pioneer Wellingborough! Pop in for a hot drink and join in with everything else! See you between 2-6 in Glamis Hall’s Community Room ?

Gina Invites You To Garden For The Community

Several years ago Gina decided that the area at the top of the cycle track that cuts across Medway Drive would make a lovely community garden. It was a waste of space created when Niort Way was made. The cycle track carries on down the hill but the old road goes on to a dead end. Perfect for a wildflower meadow and some raised beds on the tarmac area.

The County Council said it was not their land and Wellingborough Council cut the grass but would not admit it was their land. The current Mayor at the time told her to “Go for it! Who is going to bother about a few plants?”

So began her guerilla garden. She stopped the council cutting the grass and let it grow wild. She sowed wildflower seeds and yellow rattle to weaken the grass and let the wildflowers grow. She made raised beds out of old pallets and planted vegetables. Just when she was about to get people involved, COVID hit. So she carried on alone.

The yellow rattle grew and thrived. The raised beds survived. Parsley did very well. More wildflowers appeared and so did the butterflies. Now it is finally time to see if anyone else is interested in a community garden. If you would like to come and see it Gina will be there this Saturday at 11am.

It is time to hang up the bunting again, put straw round the strawberries, plant radishes and water the raised beds. If you or your children would like to help, come along on Saturday 16th April and lend a hand. (All children must be accompanied by an adult) Let’s hope it’s sunny!

The Daylight Centre

Today’s Advent Calendar opens a window for The Daylight Centre, an independent local charity that strives to help people in Wellingborough and the surrounding districts of North Northamptonshire in meeting personal challenges that range from complex mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, learning difficulties, to homelessness or just feeling fragile, isolated and alone.

The Daylight Centre Fellowship was established in 1994, registered in 2003 and ever since has assisted disadvantaged and vulnerable adults particularly rough sleepers, vulnerably housed, those in poverty and those who are socially isolated. As such, they are at the very forefront of social action within Wellingborough and the surrounding areas. They work in partnership with a range of local organisations and run different events and activities throughout the week.

The Daylight Centre’s activities include The Daylight Café, The Daylight Shop, Wellingborough Foodbank, and coming soon, The Daylight Farm allotment project. We visited them at their Queens Hall base on the High Street, the location of the Centre’s thriving community hub, and we met with Carina Fisher, Chief Executive of the charity, who told us:

“The Daylight Centre is accessible to all and everyone will be welcomed whether they’re in need of some practical support at our TLC service between 10.00am and 11.30am, dropping in for a bite to eat at The Daylight Café between 11.30am and 1pm, or for advice, information or referral at our Support Hub, also between 11.30am and 1pm.

The TLC Service is a dedicated time for anyone who is street homeless or lacking in facilities to meet their basic needs. There is access to hot showers, clothing, bedding, laundry facilities and food. They also offer a safe care of address, access to computers and telephone. They hold various drop-ins throughout the week so if you let them know what you need, they can co-ordinate with a number of organisations and support with access to these services.

The Daylight Café is a welcoming, multi-use community space that is open to all. It is a place where anyone can come to spend time, socialise and enjoy simple drinks, snacks and light meals in a relaxed atmosphere. The food is entirely prepared on site by their amazing team of volunteers. They also provide free Wi-Fi access and there are computers and telephones should you need them.

The Support Hub is to help people get access to the right support, at the right time, from the right organisation in our local area. The hub can help people who may be experiencing a range of difficulties. You may be homeless or at risk of homelessness, be facing financial challenges, struggling with substance misuse, mental and/or physical health issues. Whatever your difficulty, pop in and speak to them, they are there to help.

Local Councillor and volunteer, Valerie, gives us a guided tour of the Daylight Shop

The Daylight Shop is at 2 Cambridge Street, Wellingborough. They are your local charity shop selling an array of goods, preloved and recycled for your enjoyment.  All proceeds from the shop go to keeping the Daylight Centre open or to their foodbank to provide food parcels. The Daylight Shop is open Tuesday to Saturday from 8.30 until 4pm. All donations are gratefully received. Pop in in for a bargain!

Wellingborough Foodbank supports people at their time of greatest need or crisis via several referral partners or supporting organisations such as Citizens Advice, Job Centre Plus, Community Law, schools, Substance to Solution and various housing providers. It provides up to four days supply of food as well as essentials such as household items and toiletries. Open Monday through to Friday, 9am-12pm at Unit 3, Bradfield Road, Finedon Industrial Estate, Wellingborough, NN8 4HB.

NEW – The Daylight Farm allotment project is starting in the new year. Based in Wollaston, it will be run by Daylight volunteers and clients . It will provide a fresh supply of organic fruit and vegetables which can be redistributed throughout the service, including in The Foodbank and Daylight Café. It will also provide clients with a safe outdoors space which can support them to live a healthier, happier, more independent and purposeful lifestyle.

If you are interested in volunteering to support The Daylight Centre Fellowship, contact info@daylightcf.org for more details about their activities and for an application form. You can also find out more information and about urgent items that are needed at the foodbank on their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/daylightcentre

Community Allotment

Today’s Advent Calendar window opens on the Winter Solstice for our Community Allotment. Why, because on the shortest day we can look forward to longer warmer days, and get out to be doing more gardening! And that is exactly the point of our Community Allotment, to inspire everyone to either join us on our plot and/or start growing food and flowers either for themselves and our community!

Wellingborough Eco Group took on this plot at Ladywell allotments in Wellingborough last year, to give people the chance to share skills and to grow plants. The site was cleared in November 2020 and has, with many hours, many hands, and with a few additions of various buildings, fences and paths, plus tons of soil and compost, been developed into a user-friendly space to grow fruit, vegetables and other plants to benefit the community. Watch our first video back in February to see how we were getting on and our plan:

Our plan was that everyone should be able to use the plot, so hard standing for car parking, and access to a covered area near the entrance was seen as a must. Spaces for two cars have been provided at the front of the plot. A covered 12′ X 8′ ‘gazebo’ has been put up on the right as you enter plot. A fence separating the parking strip from the rest of the plot was also installed.

A hard path was then laid to a woodchip covered area where we have erected two greenhouses and two sheds. Amongst these we installed two raised beds and a speedboat, plus lots of compost bins and water buts. And then of course there’s the weeding, cultivating and planting! With many hands, we managed to fill the Community Allotment with fruit, veg and flowers, and by the summertime the plot was filled with abundance and beauty; here are just a few of the hundreds of photos we shared on the progress, of the people and about rewards of our efforts:

In addition to giving people the opportunity to try allotment gardening, we have lots of learning opportunities with demonstrations on all aspects of growing produce. We share plants and produce with each other at the allotment, at our Swap Shops, and with other community organisations. We also have a seed bank, to share with other allotment holders and for individuals to plant in their gardens; and an allotment library in the gazebo so that everyone to share gardening books and magazines. And we do more than grow fruit and veg…

Trees and Bees

The Community Allotment project also includes our Tree Nursery, which we have had next to the Community Allotment plot for three and a half years. Originally, we planted 28 whips (10 rowan, 9 cherry trees, 9 silver birch) that had been donated by Woodland Trust to Welly Trees and 1 field maple which was much larger, left over from residents planting trees in Third Avenue. Fifteen of these have been donated to other community groups to plant in and around Wellingborough. The others, including several more additions, are now between six and ten foot tall!

Earlier this year we took 50 oaks from Extinction Rebellion Rewilding, and planted 30 of them in a circle on a further plot next to the Tree Nursery, with the other 20 being planted on the Community Allotment. In July, Martine, a Wellingborough Eco Group Member, brought her bees to live with us in our ring of oak trees, amongst the bee friendly flowers we have there. We now have three hives in operation and lots of bees! Here Jonathan is on video again, this time showing us around the Community Allotment and Tree Nursery today:

Last month we extended the Tree Nursery into the space between where the older trees are and where the ring of oaks were planted, for a further 210 trees that we ordered from the Woodland Trust via Glamis Hall. These are to be planted for the Queen’s Green Canopy project, to celebrate her platinum jubilee. This project is a collection of partners including us, Glamis Hall and Castlefields Community Group, that is working with the local councils to plant trees in the town.

We received 105 of the whips and have planted them in this new space to grow them on. These trees are 15 Grey Willow, 15 Wild Cherry, 15 Silver Birch, 15 Pendunculate Oaks and 45 Rowan. The other 105 have just been delivered, which are a further 30 rowan, 15 crab apple, 15 dog rose, 15 blackthorn, 15 hazel and 15 elder, and will be planted in the new year.

Would you like to grow with us?

Anyone can volunteer at the Community Allotment, you don’t have to know anything about gardening and tools will be provided. The project is as much about community as it is allotment, so just join in, make new friends and be part of something that will benefit the town and all of us! We have regular working parties at the allotment, socially distanced of course!

The Working Parties are set up as events on our dedicated Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/communityallotment, and are put on our blog, please let us know if you are coming so that we can meet you at the gates to the allotment. We do hope that you have enjoyed this article and our videos, and that you may now be a little inspired, see you soon!

A year or so at our Community Allotment

Thank you to everyone who has helped transform the worst plot at Ladywell Allotments into our Community Allotment! We got this plot in May last year (see first picture) but apart from keeping the weeds down, we really only started working on it in November (see second photo.)

Many hours, many hands, and a few additions of various buildings, fences and paths, plus tons of soil and compost, have made it into a user friendly productive space for us all to use. We even have bees! Lots growing now, lots of marrows/courgettes for example if anyone wants one?

Still need to finish off the sheds, painting/windows in, and of course there’s always weeding to do, we will have new working parties next week, plus perhaps a social event up there and there’s opportunities for local community groups to join in. Well done all and thanks ??

Community Allotment Young Carers

Northamptonshire Young Carers are going to be using the allotment to give children who look after their parents the chance to have a break, to garden and to learn about nature. So as a priority this week we have fenced off under the apple tree, plus added a sink for washing hands and pots.

Everything is growing; the plants are all going for it, we have marrows ready, tomatoes taking over, spuds and onions catching up, plus we have lots of flowers ??