Awards for Knowle West gardening projects

ELM award

Left to right Mandy, Chantelle and Bob from Bramble Farm. Nina, Steve,and Gemma (front) from KWHA Let’s Grow Community Allotment, Phil from re:work, Chris from KWHA and Andy from Andy’s Nursery Haven with Kurk.

Three Knowle West gardening projects and a conservation group have received the Royal Horticulture  Society It’s Your Neighbourhood awards for their achievements.

The Edible Landscapes Movement (ELM) and Bramble Farm Community Smallholding both received a Level 4 award – Thriving. Knowle West Health Association  (KWHA) Let’s Grow Community Allotment, which entered for the first time, received a Level 3 – Developing.

The Northern Slopes Initiative – a group of people looking to conserve and enhance their local open space in South Bristol also scooped a Level 4.

The awards were assessed on community participation, environmental responsibility and gardening achievement.  They were presented to the groups by the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Faruk Choudhury at the Mansion House at the end of October.

Andy Mosely from Andy’s Nursery Haven at the Park, which is part of ELM, said he was delighted that every year they were achieving a higher level.

He explained: “It’s because we have cleared the place up, we have got new fencing, new livestock and we are hoping to build a new path so wheelchair users can have access.

“We’ve had a lot more people visiting us and getting involved because of the awards and we work with local organisations such as Brandon Trust and Silvercare who help to walk the two goats.”

The new livestock also includes 80 hens, 11ducks and three geese as well as ten bantums and the popular turkey Kurk.

This summer a wildlife pond was installed and there is also a new beehive with a resident swarm to help pollinate the plants grown in the polytunnel and grounds..

Andy said: “Five years ago this site was a scrapyard, full of bricks, paving slabs, metal and pallets. We’ve come a long way since then…”

KWHA Community Development Worker Jay Croney said: “It’s the first time Let’s Grow Community Allotment has been put forward for an award. We’ve been going since April 2012 and the land was almost wasteland.

“We’ve had help from five local schools as well as three organisations who work with adults with learning difficulties… Kids Co at Filwood has helped out as well as Youth Moves and the Fit and Fab group.”

Head gardener Steve Griffiths said: “It’s nice to be recognised for the work everyone is doing onsite, with the volunteers… Things can only get better. “

The allotment has chickens and lambs on its site and sells produce at cheaper rates to the community. It is now looking to build an outdoor shelter with teaching space and kitchen to develop its “Plot to Plate” growing and cooking sessions with the community.