Whoo and hoo – this is great news!

It’s trumpet blowing time in Brighton and Hove where The Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project has been voted the best community allotment project in the UK.

The award was given by the Kitchen Garden Magazine in conjunction with the National Allotment Gardens Trust.

Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project is a community food project based on 8 allotment plots in Brighton. The project offers horticultural, educational and social opportunities. But these aren’t your run of the mill allotments.

Along with plots growing organic fruit and vegetables there are wildlife areas with a pond full of newts and frogs, a treehouse/outdoor classroom being built by youth offenders and pupils from the Alternative Centre for Education; a polytunnel, compost loo, firepit and a children’s space including a wattle and daub wendy house. There’s also a forest garden, which recreates the different layers of a forest from tall fruit trees to fruit bushes and herbs.

Kitchen Gardener editor Steve Ott said: “This is a wonderful project, working with some of the areas most disadvantaged and troubled youngsters to give them the chance to get their hands into the soil, grow and taste their own fresh vegetables, and just to have a positive environment in which to interact.”

Warren Carter of MFG said “For many pupils and youth offenders school has failed them. We just try and find the skills they are good at and give them confidence and self belief. We offer an alternative curriculum, teaching not just gardening but building and carpentry skills, woodland management and cooking skills. The allotments are also a great place for a wide range of people who would never usually mix to socialise around a fire and cup of tea, becoming part of the social glue that binds communities together.”

To find out more about the work of the garden go to www.seedybusiness.org

MFG photograph by Simon Tobbit used under a creative commons attribution licence

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Wednesday, September 12, 2007


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