Celebrate National Lottery 25 Grant

The Committee of Craven Arms Community Garden have been awarded a grant of £950 from Celebrate National Lottery 25.

The logo of the National Lottery Community Fund and Celebrate 25

At short notice, we developed and submitted a grant application to secure funds towards the refurbishment of the existing frame in order to bring the polytunnel back into use.

#CelebrateNationalLottery25 Grants

The first National Lottery draw took place on the 19th November 1994, and so the National Lottery celebrates it’s 25th birthday in 2019. So far the National Lottery has helped more than 565,000 good causes.

To celebrate it’s 25th anniversary the #CelebrateNationalLottery25 grants scheme is offering grants totalling £2 million. The individual grants up to a maximum value of £1,000 are being offered to organisations with ideas that help bring the community together.

Grant for £950

Our successful grant application was for £950 and this was itemised as follows:

  • New polytunnel cover – sundries – tape, fittings  £750
  • Treated wood partitions and shelving  £100
  • Food and refreshments £75
  • Administration £25

Our plan is to refurbish the polytunnel and bring it back into use, and to celebrate this with an “Open Day” on the 27th May 2020 with a buffet lunch for CACG members and friends. The event will allow us to invite members of other organisations that have provided grants to the Community Garden, including:

  • Euro Quality Foundation
  • Craven Arms Town Council
  • Connexus

When the polytunnel was first constructed in 2015 it was vandalised before it could be used. This grant provides the funds to refurbish the polytunnel for the benefit of members. It will allow the growing season to be extended to cover the period from February through to November.

CACG members will be able to use small plots within the polytunnel for an additional fee – and we will provide more information about this later in the year.

Call For Volunteers

Next year we will be calling for volunteers to help to carry out remedial work on the polytunnel frame and site in readiness for recovering the polytunnel.

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

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.

Tidy Day – June 2015

Members are reminded that the first Saturday of each month from February through October or November is Craven Arms Community Garden Tidy Day and these coincide with the Farmers Market held at the Discovery Centre.

The June 2015 Tidy Day is therefore Saturday 6th June.

The original plan for the tasks included mowing the grassed areas and strimming the edges of the micro-allotment plots. Thanks to the work carried on Thursday 4th June by the West Mercia Community Payback team these tasks have been completed.

That will allow us to focus on:

  • weeding the edges of the communal pathways
  • weeding the communal raised beds
  • any general tidying up that is required

Unfortunately I am not able to attend the Tidy Day On Saturday and so I have contributed several hours this week to the communal maintenance need by turning the compost beds and closing off one bed to prevent further addition of any compostable materials. I’ve also placed laminated warning signs on the particular bed requesting that nothing further is added to the bed.

Please also note that some members of the Community Garden are manning a “Seedy Saturday” stall at the Farmers Market selling plants and produce and so it is even more important that additional members come along to help with the routine maintenance of the communal areas of the Community Garden.

We hope to see many, if not all, members on Saturday 6th June from 10:00 when your valuable contribution to the maintenance of the communal areas of the Community Garden will be greatly appreciated.

In conclusion, the Tidy Day is also an opportunity for members to meet and get to know each other and as a group of members we take a mid-morning break and enjoy some refreshment together provided by the Discovery Centre. There is plenty to see in the Community Garden at the moment in addition to the produce growing in many plots – for example the new polytunnel has been erected and is nearing completion.

Polytunnel – First Hoop

Yesterday, Craven Arms Community Garden member John Wood and I installed the first hoop of the new polytunnel which has been obtained through the generosity of the Ludlow Food Festival.

The photograph below taken from the South and looking North shows this first hoop in place at the northen end of the 25′ by 12′ polytunnel along with the internal raised beds in the foreground.

CACG Polytunnel First Hoop 19th May 2015

CACG Polytunnel First Hoop 19th May 2015

Whilst it might not seem like a big deal I would like to remind members of the Community Garden that a lot of hard work went into the preparation necessary to reach this major milestone.

So that’s one down, five to go – or should that be one up, five to go.