We are Growing2gether, based at Cottismore Park near Kingsclere – a community food and flower growing and training project that provides opportunities for people from many different backgrounds. We also create educational experiences for children on our site to learn through the outdoors.
You could be our next part-time volunteer! We are looking for enthusiastic helpers to volunteer for just half a day a week to help our organisation grow. We are looking to recruit several volunteers for the following roles:
- Ground maintenance and gardening
- Publicity and Communications
- Woodwork assistant
In May 2019 we celebrated 10 years of Growing2gether at Cottismore Park. We have a beautiful 4.5 acre site that includes an orchard, fruit cage, wildlife pond, raised beds full of vegetables and much more but it wasn’t always like this.
In 2009 we took over an abandoned nursery site. It was massively overgrown and had been used for fly tipping.
One of the glass houses had plants so overgrown that they had shot through the roof shattering the ceiling. After days of strimming the long grass we found an abandoned ice cream van that hadn’t been visible before.
Needless to say it was a mess and a big job to transform it. But that’s exactly what we did.
With the support of Greenham Common Trust & help of Corporate volunteer teams and a willing band of volunteers we spent 2 years clearing the site and started to build what we have now.
To build the allotment area we used 160 tonnes of demolition waste, 100 tonnes of pro grow green waste and 300 tonnes of top soil, all carried in on wheelbarrows by fantastic corporate teams and volunteers. We built raised beds in the main allotment area and on the concrete floor of the demolished warehouse we used concrete blocks to build small beds that were wheelchair height but also had a small sill you can sit on to lean across the bed.
In 2010 we started work on the orchard. We had to bring in a further 160 tonnes of soil to make the space to grow the trees. In March planted 32 apple trees, 9 pear trees and 7 plum trees.
The orchard now has a mud kitchen for our toddler group and a pergola to use as an outside classroom.
We currently have over 50 raised beds that we use to train our adults with learning disabilities horticulture to diploma level.
We grow annuals to sell at our May open days and at the Community Furniture projects in Basingstoke and Newbury.
We work with local schools providing work experience and curriculum led learning days. We even have a thriving toddler group held monthly and fun family days in the school holidays all free with funding from Basingstoke and Deane Council.
Our site is a haven for wildlife and learning. We supported adults to return to work after long term employment or illness. We are here for everyone who needs us and every month 100’s of people use our site. So if you fancy volunteering and joining our family get in touch. Being outside connecting with nature is good for mental and physical health and wellbeing. We’ll even provide biscuits!