Community News

Knowle West gardener creating fruit farm at Redcatch Park

A Knowle West community gardener is creating a fruit farm for the public to enjoy on the disused croquet ground at Redcatch Park.

It’s now full steam ahead for organiser Steve Griffiths to carry out his ambitious project – as he only received planning permission from Bristol City Council at the end of April.

His plans for Redcatch Community Garden include soft fruits such as raspberries, cherries and strawberries as well as more exotic varieties such as kiwis, lemons and grapes – with the help of two polytunnels he will be installing.

He will also have a café on the site and a shop selling the produce – and hopes to have lots of local organisations from the area involved.

Steve says: “The main thing is that everything will go through the café so people can have healthy food and we’ll have an open gate policy so people can come and pick the fruit to raise money for the project.

“Another idea is there is a lot of fruit waste and windfalls in the area, so we will send out gleaning teams which is an old tradition. People will have a map and knock on doors and ask for fruit which they will pay for and it will be used in the café and shop.”

An event space is also planned with a roundhouse type building in the centre for education purposes. There will also be a vegetable plot for produce such as runner beans, tomatoes and cucumbers – and Steve also wants a plant hospital on site where people can bring ailing specimens to be revived.

Steve is working with a core team of five local volunteers, including events manager Mike Cardwell who helped him come up with the plan and wife Nina.

And he has been overwhelmed with the response with already 40 other people signed up to help with the project.

He is already itching to get his spade in the ground and aims to have the café up and running this May, having already raised £4,000 for a catering trailer. He will also start filling the polytunnels with the hundreds of plants he has at home.

He says: “A lot of people use this park, tennis players or dog walkers and it’s just a lovely space so we’ll get a lot of footfall and most of the income will come from the café in the first year.

“Hopefully we will get funding just to pay wages and we’re hoping to involve local people as much as possible.”

To get involved in Redcatch Community Garden call Steve on 0782 613 7106 or pop into The Pavilion at Redcatch Park on  weekday mornings.