We are no longer involved in the management and development of the Bob Fowler Community Garden. However, our Schools Project does help maintain the allotment and Eco Shed still get involved in workshops and open days.
If you would like to volunteer for the allotment please contact Dave Eldred, Volunteer Coordinator - firstname.lastname@example.org
Scroll down to read about how the allotment was started. Want to see what it looks like now? Contact Dave Eldred to arrange a visit. Contact details above.
We are developing a disused area of land and former fly-tipping site into a community allotment. The land is managed by AmicusHorizon housing association and is located at Regis Crescent in Sittingbourne. AmicusHorizon have invited local Children's Centres, Wood Grove and Grove Park, and Skillnet Group CIC to work in partnership to develop the land.
The Bob Fowler Community Allotment aims to engage all members of the community and promote and support inclusivity. The groups managing the allotment will actively engage with vulnerable groups including people with mental ill health, learning difficulties, people re-accessing work and volunteering opportunities, young parents, fathers/male carers.
People will be involved in a voluntary capacity to learn new skills, meet new people and help improve their local environment. Many people in Sittingbourne do not have a garden of their own, or the knowledge or confidence to grow their own fruit and vegetables. The community allotment will give them the opportunity to benefit from this experience.
Gardening encourages all areas of learning development, especially in children. Allotment gardening promotes social interaction and can be effective for people who feel isolated from the wider community (perhaps culturally, or due to health problems). Caring for plants and wildlife can instil a sense of responsibility, be a relaxing and therapeutic experience and also being a great form of exercise to help physical fitness and mental well-being.
The garden will be designed and developed using organic gardening and permaculture principles, taking local people, environment and wildlife into consideration throughout the process. It will provide the opportunity for people to learn skills in organic gardening, vegetable growing, wildlife, permaculture and sustainability. There will be areas for people to sit, relax and be around nature, as well as plenty of tasks for those wishing to get stuck in and get gardening.
The site has been cleared, lockable tool sheds installed and paths laid. Blenwood Grounds Maintenance and volunteers from AmicusHorizon installed beds and pathways. We have been applying for funding for the necessary tools, materials and equipment to get the allotment up and running. Overall plans include a seating area, composting toilet, bike/buggy shelter with green roof, partially covered outdoor class room/ tea shed, polytunnel, growing areas and additional beds, trees and plants and areas to encourage wildlife. As of November 2013 we have been awarded funding from Awards for All, Councillor Roger Truelove, The Woodland Trust and The Big Tree Plant. We plan to develop more formal training for volunteers and invite experts in permaculture, sustainable building and organic gardening to run workshops to give volunteers a deeper understanding of the methods being used.
All three groups have their own priorities for the allotment and are working together to create a sustainable growing area for the whole community to enjoy.
If you would like to help or get involved, please contact us. Your help and any donations will help us to carry out the aims of our project.
Who We Are
AmicusHorizon Housing Association
AmicusHorizon housing association wanted to tackle the problem of fly-tipping they were having on this formerly disused area of land. The Residents Advisory Panel decided that converting the area into community allotments would mean local people would feel more responsible and empowered in looking after and maintaining their local area. The housing association wanted to link up with other community organisations to ensure that all groups of the community were included in the project. Sadly, AmicusHorizon lost one of their members of staff recently. Bob Fowler was committed and passionate about the plans for transforming this land and the allotment will be named after Bob.
Contact Nicki Treadwell – email@example.com or 07738 989177
Wood Grove and Grove Park Children’s Centres
Wood Grove and Grove Park Children’s Centres are keen to grow fruit and vegetables to use for snack times at the centres to reduce food miles and save money. They want to involve young children and families in the process to give them the opportunity to learn about how our food is produced, eat healthily and benefit mentally and physically from working outdoors in nature.
Contact Helen Sharman – Helen.firstname.lastname@example.org or 01795 477446
Skillnet Group CIC
Skillnet Group CIC sees the project as an opportunity to explore different aspects of sustainable living from natural building to wildlife gardening, renewable energy to breaking to barriers to social interaction. It will focus on involving people with learning difficulties in all aspects of the work, as well as engaging with others who may feel isolated in their community or want to build skills to help them re-access work.
Contact Louise Allen – email@example.com or 07780 985245