June 18, 2020

Castlegate Community Garden

Our Supporters

Project Updates

20th May 2021
The Community Crew, a group of young people organised by Berwick Youth Project, have been planting herbs, tomatoes and strawberries in our Castlegate Community Garden this week. They have done a great job and have enjoyed it so much that they have offered to adopt the garden and look after it for us and the community. Debra Jerdan, who runs the Community Crew, said that the participants enjoyed it so much they were really keen to take ownership and develop the garden for local people to enjoy and harvest from. Plants were supplied by the Northumberland Communities Together Food Partnership. We look forward to watching it develop and maybe trying a strawberry when they are ready!

24th March 2021
Berwick Community Trust’s Castlegate Community Garden is nearing completion! The fruit trees are starting to bud and the underplanting is taking shape. Today Nick and Cameron from N.T. Walsh Tree & Forestry Services kindly donated a trailer of bark mulch and helped the Trust staff spread it in the garden making it more bug friendly and keeping the weeds at bay. The garden will produce fruit, vegetables and herbs for residents to harvest and use at home. ‘There has been a fantastic level of support from local businesses in providing plants, wood and muscle power to get this garden under way,’ said Julie Kennedy from the Trust. We have a number of local groups and organisations lined up to maintain and develop the garden including Northstar and other volunteers.

Work commenced on the 5th October, a new raised flowerbed was created and the first trees were planted. On the 21st October Ann and Julie planted the first of the plants into the flowerbed, this intrigued many passers by and all said they were pleased at the effort we have made to make the area great again. More planting will be done when funds allow, if you wish to make a donation to flowers, bulbs or herbs then please get in touch with Julie on juliekennedy@nullberwicktrust.org.uk.

It seems like forever since last January when with the help of the staff from the Premier Inn, we started on our revamp of the Castlegate Flower bed.

We were expecting to have cleared the beds, gather sponsors, and invite everyone around to look at our vision for this space. We should really be doing the final touches for judging a Town in Bloom award …instead all of our projects are on hold and our building closed to the public for the foreseeable!
So, to keep us all safe and healthy, it will be a while longer until we can open our doors to you all so that we can share thoughts and ideas for this bed. We really would prefer to chat to you over coffee and cake (we are now addicted to cake!), but in the meantime, here is an update.

The image shares our vision which is to plant veg/ salad and herbs in a raised bed at the pointed end of the bed. The remainder of the bed will have bee/insect friendly planting as suggested by Plantsman Jonathon @ Berwick Garden Centre. There is even room for some small crab apple trees, with their beautiful spring blossom and fruit to encourage the bird and bees! Once all of the under planting is established, it should look wonderful all year round and require little maintenance. Pottering is the best part of gardening don’t you think? The raised bed is something that will hopefully discourage people from walking across the planting (they do, we have watched them!) and also put the edibles out of harm’s way (dogs!) Do you think a low fence would be needed too?
We are very grateful to have received generous offers from our sponsors including local builders’ merchant MKM. They are kindly donating enough materials for us to prepare the ground and construct beds/fencing/bird/bug boxes. We are looking for DIY enthusiasts to help put it all together, can you help?
Once planting is established, we would like to put in some explanation of the environmental benefit/social impact of the planting scheme. What should it look like? Is an interactive app the way to go?

Fruit, veg, salad and herbs would be a welcome addition to our foodbank provision and given recent events maybe we should all consider growing our own food. Obviously, we would encourage people to help themselves (but leave a little for the wildlife too!). What herb would you like to pick on your way past?
As this space has previously had a Christmas tree provided by NCC, (and as we all love Christmas (some more than others!) we would like to continue the tradition and plant one and watch it grow. We would pop the lights on each year, but which type should we choose? Maybe our friends and neighbours would like to make and hand their own decorations?

The Trust is looking forward to enjoying the return of colour to this space and also seeing wildlife that it is sure to attract. We cannot wait for you to tell us which birds or bugs are your favourite. We appreciate that there are challenges to having mixed planting schemes, but many urban spaces have already done this really well and we love a challenge .Berwickers like to do things different and mixed beds also mean that everyone can share in the incredible edibles grown.

Whilst Covid-19 has meant that we are a bit behind schedule, and It might be that we have to plant in stages, but that’s okay, good things are worth the wait. When we get the Green light, would you like to volunteer? We need help with the ground prep, the construction stuff and planting out. We will also need people to help keep the bed looking great all through the year.

Is this something you would like to get involved in? If so, please get in touch if you have any comments or skills to offer this project. Email juliekennedy@nullberwicktrust.org.uk or telephone 01289 303366 to leave a message and we will call you back.