Tag Archives: community

Big Dig in Birmingham – 2016

BigDigLogo_WebLargeThe Big Dig returns to Birmingham this April for the third year running. The event will be on the 16th April and will see gardens across the city throw open their doors and give anybody the chance to get down and get digging to really kick start the growing season. Last year was a great success with over 1,600 people taking part across the UK, 1,207 of which had never been involved with the gardens before!

We’re keen to top that number this year so keep your eyes out for further information on the gardens that will be involved, free seeds giveaways and networking events which will all be advertised on here in the coming weeks and months.

Between now and then head over to The Big Dig website and take a look at some of the photos from last year and get inspired to make this year bigger and better! Alternatively, pop over to our Birmingham map and register your own event here.

Social & Therapeutic Horticulture Courses in Birmingham

For those that have an interest in Social & Therapeutic Horticulture (STH), be-it professional or just adding to the skill bank, Thrive are running a series of courses in Birmingham in 2014 which may be of interest.

Step into STH workshops

A beginner’s guide in how to use gardening as a therapeutic activity and meet your clients needs.

12 March 2014 The Independent Living Centre, Birmingham

FEE: £80

Thrive’s National Short Course Programme (NSCP) Suitable for practitioners (including volunteers) and allied professionals who wish to gain confidence and competence in becoming more professional in STH. The NSCP is a programme of training days aimed at working with specific disability groups. By attending you will gain knowledge and skills to help your own professionalism and staff development which will benefit your clients and place of work. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance detailing learning outcomes to add to your Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Attending a 2 day client specific course provides access to the AWARD in STH (on application) and can be found on the programme marked A

Setting up a STH project

This course will provide information, skills and knowledge on how to start a new project.

26 & 27 March 2014 at Salop Drive Market Garden, Birmingham

Using social and therapeutic horticulture to benefit people with learning disabilities (A)

Provides information, skills, techniques and confidence in using social and therapeutic horticulture to address healthy living, occupational deficiency and transition pathways for people with learning disabilities.

29 & 30 April 2014 at The Independent Living Centre, Birmingham

Using social and therapeutic horticulture to benefit people with mental health support needs (A)

Provides information, skills, techniques and confidence in using social and therapeutic horticulture to address rehabilitation, recovery, social inclusion, training and employment.

13 & 14 May 2014 at Salop Drive Market Garden, Birmingham

Using social and therapeutic horticulture for young people with special educational needs (A)

Provides information, skills and practical techniques that will allow you to match horticulture activities to the national curriculum and/or engage in a therapeutic extra curricula programme whilst meeting the needs of an individual.

28 & 29 May 2014 at Salop Drive Market Garden, Birmingham

Using social and therapeutic horticulture for older people with specific support needs (A)

Provides information and practical skills of how STH can address rehabilitation, recovery, quality of life and help older people age well – covering a wide range of impairments such as dementia, sight loss and stroke.

1 & 2 April 2014 at The Independent Living Centre, Birmingham

FEE BOOK DURING JANUARY AND BENEFIT FROM A 10% DISCOUNT

Individuals and voluntary organisations: 2 day courses £270 – discounted fee £243

Statutory organisations: 2 day courses £320 – discounted fee £288

HOW TO BOOK

Click on this link http://www.thrive.org.uk/courses-and-workshops.aspx or call Thrive’s training team on 0118 988 5688

Birmingham’s first Big Dig Day

Saturday March 16th saw the first ‘Big Dig Day’ in Birmingham. Across the weekend, over 30 grow sites, allotments & community gardens opened their doors to all.

Although the weather forecast was non-too hopeful, groups all around the city put this aside, and welcomed new and existing volunteers to many varied and fun events.

Big dig Day, March 2013, Getting the group together at edible eastsideVisiting my first event of the day, I arrived at Edible Eastside, to be met by Jayne & Rob.  Lizzie Bean soon arrived and work began in earnest on the next stages of the earth oven.

Despite the rain, volunteers soon started to arrive, and with a fire lit, and work underway, I took my leave to visit Park Lane Garden Centre in Aston for the second stop of the day.

Park Lane were beginning their work on a new community garden next door, and as well as welcoming volunteers, Julia took time to show Clare Savage and I the plans and setting for the new garden.

Community food growers meeting at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Are you interested in urban food growing, as an individual or part of a community group?

On the 16th January Big Dig Brum is holding a meeting at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

As well as an opportunity to meet new groups, gather contacts and get ideas, the meeting will also include short presentations by local author and gardening journalist Alys Fowler and Mike Hardman (Birmingham City University) on the need, importance and context of growing food in Birmingham.

Food Forest Brum – working with communities in developing edible perennial landscapes

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Food Forest Brum is a project run by Spring to Life (a Community Interest Company). They work to promote personal and community wellbeing in Birmingham.

Their vision is to have an abundant sustainable Birmingham, with skilled and cohesive communities that connect with their land.

They aim to help fulfil this vision by working with local communities in establishing permanent food landscapes, providing plants, and skills, and bringing people together.

Making community food growing part or every town & city – The Big Dig Project plans to expand across England.

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Across England, six cities are already participating in the Big Dig Programme: Brighton & Hove, London, Sheffield, Middlesborough, Coventry and Manchester.

The Big Dig is a national project to engage people in community food growing projects across England, and is all about making community food growing a part of every urban landscape.

Eating, growing and involving – the power of food to bring communities together

taster day 30/9 - Food Sharing at the Coplow Street Grow Site

Around 60 local residents and members of local community groups enjoyed a food sharing session on Sunday 30th September at the Coplow Street Grow Site in Ladywood.

The Taster session was the first of a series of events organised by the North Summerfield Residents and the Black Environment Network which revolve around engaging with ethnic minority communities to celebrate, grow and share knowledge of food and food growing.

This first event of this new project to link local communities with food growing opportunities centred around a food tasting session.

New slant on urban farming? Biomass for local energy generation grown on contaminated land


I’d never thought of using contaminated urban land to grow biomass before. But that’s exactly what I heard about at a New Optimists Forum meeting last night at Aston Business School.

And here’s the story:

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