Visit to Bowbrook Allotment Community

The Committee of CACG have organised a visit to Bowbrook Allotment Community at Mytton Oak Road, Shrewsbury under the National Open Garden Scheme for the afternoon and early evening of Sunday 9th June 2019.

A photograph of Bowbrook Allotment Community
Bowbrook Allotment Community

Bowbrook Allotment Community organise group visits of between 10 and 30 visitors in order to support the National Open Garden Scheme and they charge a fee of £6 per person which includes tea, coffee, soft drinks and cakes. There is so much of interest that the tour is divided into 2 halves of with a break for refreshments.

The key features of Bowbrook Allotment Community are:

  • a 5 acre site
  • 93 plots surrounded by beautiful gardens, orchards and wild flower meadows
  • a nature/interest trail linking the plots
  • Garden of the 4 Seasons
  • a Perfect for Pollinators Garden
  • a Garden of Contemplation
  • a Prairie Garden
  • a story-telling willow dome
  • a willow tunnel
  • a sensory garden
  • a turf spiral

More details are provided within this PDF document which also provides some useful links and directions to the Bowbrook Allotment Community.

Bowbrook only offer group visits and CACG are offering this group visit at £6 per person and you can contact me, Sean Scannell, Secretary to make a booking:

  • 01588 238324
  • sean.scannell@googlemail.com
  • secretary@cravenarmscommunitygarden.org.uk

Payments of £6 per person are required in advance and tickets are available up to a maximum of 30 visitors on a first-come first-served basis.

Please look at the PDF document which provides more details.

Thanks to Euro Quality Foundation

The Committee of CACG have approached Euro Quality Foundation, the charitable arm of Euro Quality Lambs Ltd. who are based in Craven Arms, for a grant towards improvements to the Craven Arms Community Garden.

We have received a grant of £300 from Euro Quality Foundation to whom we are extremely grateful. This grant enables us to start repairing and improving fences to enhance the security of the Community Gardens.

As you can see within the photograph below, some of the fences are in poor condition and require remedial works. At the same time we plan to increase the height of the fences and plant new hedges in order to enhance the security of the Community Gardens.

The fences at the north east corner of the Craven Arms Community Garden March 2019
CACG Fences North East Corner

In recent years the Community Gardens have suffered from vandalism and theft of produce and so we are embarking on a plan of works to improve security through fence repairs and new hedging.

In a separate blog post I’ve outlined the start of these works within the next Tidy Sunday on April 7th 2019. There will also be additional works carried our by plot-holders and if anyone is able to assist your help would be very much appreciated.

Advance Notice of AGM 2019

Please note the following date for your 2019 diary. The Craven Arms Community Garden AGM (Annual General Meeting) is to be held on Saturday 2nd February 2019 starting at 14:30 at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre (SHDC). Free refreshments will be provided.

The AGM provides the opportunity to review the past year and make plans for 2019.

The AGM is also the ideal time pay any rents due on plots.

Tidy Day – August 2015

The August Tidy Day is Saturday 1st August 2015 when we hope to see more members than usual in the Community Garden to help with the maintenance of the communal areas.

The recent warm and wet weather means that the weeds are attempting to take over – and succeeding in some areas!
Our main focus on the 1st August will be two areas:

  • the removal of weeds from the planted area on the north-western side of the Community Garden
  • the removal of weeds from the compost area

The extent of the weed problem in the compost area can be seen in the photograph below:

Weeds in the Compost Area

Weeds in the Compost Area

Some of the regulars who rarely miss a Tidy Day are working on our Seedy Saturday stall at the Craven Arms Farmers Market which makes it essential that many more members step up and make a contribution to the essential communal maintenance of the Community Garden.

As well as contributing to the Community Garden you will have the chance to meet fellow members and we enjoy a mid-morning break with tea and coffee generously provided by the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

The Tidy Days are held on the first Saturday of the month to coincide with the regular Craven Arms Farmers Market event and members are reminded that they are obliged under the terms of the Ground Rules for Plot Holders to contribute time and effort to these monthly Tidy Days.

Advance Notice of AGM 2016

Please note the following date for your 2016 diary. The Craven Arms Community Garden AGM (Annual General Meeting) is to be held on Saturday 6th February 2016 starting at 11:30 at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre (SHDC).

The AGM is a chance to discover the work that the Committee have carried out on your behalf during the year and also your opportunity to put your views forward to the Committee.

There will be brief presentations including a summary of the year from the Chair and the Treasurer’s Report.

At the AGM the current Committee will step down and an election will be held for fresh officers for the year.

Closer to the meeting date I will be asking members to advise any items that they wish to attach to the Agenda for discussion at the AGM.

We are very grateful to SHDC who are providing the venue free of charge to us. Tea and coffee will be provided by SHDC from 11:15 and expensed from Community Garden funds.

If you have not visited the Secret Hills Exhibition and met the Mammoth there is an opportunity for attendees of the AGM to visit the exhibition free of charge courtesy of SHDC who are also offering a free guided tour of the Onny Meadow after the AGM. Closer to the date of the AGM I will contact members to gather numbers attending and also identify who is interested in the Secret Hills Exhibition and/or tour of the Onny Meadows.

You can also expect regular reminders about the AGM within our new E-Newsletter.

Tidy Day – July 2015

The July Tidy Day is Saturday 4th July 2015 when we hope to see many members in the Community Garden to help with maintenance of the communal areas. Everything is now growing fast in the garden – including the weeds! Our focus this Saturday will be on clearing the weeds from the main border area on the North Western side of the garden, and the photograph below shows the extent of the weed development including some major clumps of grass.

Weeds in the Craven Arms Community Garden

Weeds in the Craven Arms Community Garden

Some of the regulars who rarely miss a Tidy Day are unavailable for this Saturday and so it is especially important that all other members who can help do come along and make a contribution. As well as the maintenance contribution there is also the opportunity to meet fellow members of the Community Garden.

The Tidy Days are held on the first Saturday of the month to coincide with the regular Craven Arms Farmers Market event and members are reminded that they are obliged under the terms of the Ground Rules for Plot Holders to contribute time and effort to these monthly Tidy Days.

Family Fun Day – Sunday 14th June

SHDC Family Fun Day Sunday 14th June 2015The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre are holding a Family Fun Day and Cycle Sunday on 14th June 2015 to celebrate National Bike Week.

At the Craven Arms Community Garden we are supporting this event with a number of activities including:

A Children’s Gardening Quiz

For the under 12’s, ten questions based on the Community Garden, with a Prize for the winner!

Making Comfrey Tea

Learn how to turn Comfrey into a powerful and natural liquid fertiliser feed.

Starts at 11:30

A Demonstration of Composting Methods

The different approaches and methods of composting.

Starts at 12:00

Watering Techniques to Conserve Water

Learn a variety of techniques for careful watering to conserve this vital resource for gardeners.

Starts at 13:00

Guided Tours of the Community Garden

Learn about the Community Garden and recent developments including how we are becoming sustainable in our rainwater collection and composting and also visit the new polytunnel which extends the growing season.

Tours will start at 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00 and last about 20 minutes.

Booking not required, just turn up.

We hope to see many members, friends and families.
National Bike Week 2015

Seedy Saturdays Have Germinated!

It’s been some time since the Craven Arms Community Garden last held a Seedy Saturday stall at the Craven Arms Farmers Market. But we’re back!

On Saturday 6th June the Seedy Saturday stall was manned by CACG members:

  • Liz Wynn
  • Sophie Francis
  • Lesley James

Our thanks to the volunteers who ran the stall, those members who contributed plants, and special thanks to Tony and Vicky Mantle who supplied chutney and rhubarb crumbles.

The photograph below shows Liz Wynn, Chair of the Craven Arms Community Garden Group, at the stall along with some of the selection of plants and produce of offer.

Liz Wynn and the Seedy Saturday Stall Saturday 6th June 2015

Liz Wynn and the Seedy Saturday Stall Saturday 6th June 2015

The next Seedy Saturday will be held at the Farmers Market on Saturday 4th July when we hope to offer more plants and produce.

We look forward to meeting existing members and also anyone interested in plants and organic produce at these regular events. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Craven Arms Community Garden this is an ideal time to come along to meet existing members and take a guided tour of the Community Garden and available plots.

Tidy Day – 6th June 2015

At the Tidy Day on Saturday 6th June 2015 members volunteered to help with the maintenance of the communal areas of the Community Garden. The tasks typically include mowing the grass, strimming edges and weeding. Sometimes it can feel like there’s not much to show for the effort!

However, on other occasions there is a need to carry out repairs and the benefits of the hard work can be seen immediately. So now that the construction of the polytunnel is nearing completion, attention was turned to the path on the eastern side of the polytunnel which was in poor condition.

The photograph below shows the path after repairs were carried by Community Garden members – many thanks to everyone for such a great job which really improves the area.

The Polytunnel and Repaired Path

The Polytunnel and Repaired Path

The Tidy Days are held on the first Saturday of the month to coincide with the regular Craven Arms Farmers Market events and members are reminded that they are obliged under the terms of the Ground Rules for Plot Holders to contribute time and effort to these monthly Tidy Days.

Draping the Polytunnel Cover

Yesterday members of the Craven Arms Community Garden draped the polythene cover over the framework of the new polytunnel – another major milestone in the polytunnel construction.

The photograph below shows the cover at the first stage of fixing. It appears quite loose at this stage and the next step is to finalise the position of the cover and then tension and fix with wooden battens.

CACG Polytunnel Cover Draped 5th June 2015

CACG Polytunnel Cover Draped 5th June 2015

Once again our thanks to Ludlow Food Festival whose generosity has made all this possible.

Our gratitude also to the “polytunnel drapers” for their hard work yesterday in baking sunshine (we experienced the hottest day of the year so far):

  • Liz Wynn
  • Tony Mantle
  • John Wood

The photograph below shows the cover under tension during the fixing operation.

Tensioning and Fixing the CACG Polytunnel Cover

Tensioning and Fixing the CACG Polytunnel Cover

There are now just a few outstanding tasks before we have completed the polytunnel project:

  • some cosmetic trimming of the cover
  • re-positioning of an internal raised bed
  • fitting the irrigation system and linking to the rainwater storage tanks and solar pump
  • widening of the adjacent pathway

Soon our thoughts will be turning to a topping-out ceremony.