Grapes Hill Community Garden is run by Grapes Hill Community Garden Group (GHCGG). We are a Registered Charity (No. 1156616). The group was set up in summer 2008 to convert a run-down disused area near Norwich city centre into a community garden. Our site, a 50 metre by 12 metre former play area, was covered in tarmac.
We spent 2009 and 2010 consulting the local community on the design of the garden and raising funds. £500 of lottery funding paid for an initial sketch of the garden by a Landscape Architect. Following further consultation with residents we were awarded a £50,000 in further lottery funding to pay for building the garden.
Garden construction work (hard landscaping) took place in late 2010, then we planted up the garden during the first half of 2011. We have added to the garden over the years, but most of the original features remain.
We retained the original four ash trees and these provide welcome shade in summer. In the shadier areas we planted woodland wildflowers. There are several seats and a lawn area where visitors can relax and enjoy the garden. The garden also features a number of interesting sculptures by local artists.
The garden contains a large number of edible plants, including fruit trees and bushes, herbs and plants with edible flowers. We have a small apple orchard, fan-trained cherries, a fig, a plum, an apricot, raspberries and blackberries. More unusual fruit includes quince and medlar trees, honeyberries, Japanese wineberries and alpine strawberries. In February 2013 we added four plum trees as a ‘Golding Place Mini-orchard’ just outside the garden.
We hold weekly volunteer sessions in the garden from March - October where anyone can have a go at seasonal gardening activities and connect with others. There are also opportunities to get involved with public events, workshops and family sessions.
The garden is open to the public everyday and is a welcoming, safe space for the local community. We support people to feel a sense of ownership and empowerment in their community space, providing sessions to encourage skills sharing, confidence building and connection, improving wellbeing for people and the environment.
We offer a diverse range of opportunities for the local community and we're incredibly grateful for the help, support and enthusiasm volunteers offer the community garden, but having volunteers help to maintain the space is not our main aim. We're even more passionate about celebrating and empowering people to feel part of a supportive community and take ownership of the space, supporting you to develop skills (not only in horticulture!), build your confidence and connect with others. Below are some examples of things you can get involved with in the garden, all of which support pathways to employment;
- Weekly volunteering sessions in the garden to build skills & confidence, spend time outdoors and connect
- Opportunities to get involved in planning and help at public events and workshops
- Opportunities to gain experience in decision making, communication, working collaboratively and community engagement
- Potential to gain qualifications and training through the garden Admin and Trustee roles
- Being part of the community, strengthening the community and making valuable connections (both socially and for work)
You can keep updated about paid roles with Grapes Hill Community Garden Group via the 'Vacancies' link.