October 12, 2021
Best in the UK
When gaps started to appear on supermarket shelves – especially in the fruit and veg sections – it was a timely reminder of the value of local food production and local supply chains. And with the launch of a new Scottish Government consultation highlighting the multiple benefits of local food, new light has been shone on the potential contribution of Scotland’s community growers within a more localised food system. That light is shining even brighter since a group of gardeners in Glasgow’s west end were recently crowned UK’s Best Community Garden.
Despite or perhaps because of lockdown, Cultivation Street 2021 saw more entries than ever before. Record numbers of people entered our community gardening competition, including many returning projects, but also a fabulous number of brand-new entries, gardens created over the past 18 months and still coming into their own.
These weren’t just community gardens; there were school gardens too, and our judges were blown away by the high standard of the entries, highlighting just how important gardening and growing together is for the nation. And how for so many people it benefits physical health as well as mental well-being. Cultivation Street, sponsored by Miracle-Gro® and supported by the Daily Express, remains a beacon of green guidance and advice. We love watching gardens grow and develop so we are already so excited for next year – the 10th anniversary of the campaign!
Well done to all those who entered and keep gardening!
This award goes to fantastic and inspiring community gardening projects who are making their local area a greener place to live. Our winner, taking home £1,000 prize money and a Miracle-Gro® hamper, is Woodlands Community Garden based in the heart of Glasgow – a green oasis that was once a derelict site.
Now a much-loved community resource, it’s used for volunteering, education, play, and socialising. It’s a hub where each year around 50 households grow their own fruit, veg and herbs. With many residents not having access to their own gardens, it’s an important part of the community as an accessible green space.
The garden has a hub for meetings and socialising which encourages the community to come together to share stories, tips and support. As well as this there is a performance stage area for events which children can use to put on shows and share their love for gardening. Tim Cowen who runs Woodlands Community Garden said: “The pandemic has challenged us all and created huge pressures for so many people. We knew that our community garden has been helping people by providing a lifeline space for them and to come together and find comfort in the beauty of nature. It’s so wonderful to have our hard work recognised, not just as the best in Scotland, but as the best in the UK. After a difficult year, it’s really boosted our spirits and brought a big smile to our faces.”