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CHELTENHAM'S COMMUNITY GROWING LANDSCAPE

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Welcome to our first blog which comes in two parts; part one will explore where community growing is already happening in Cheltenham with part two highlighting where some of this food goes and how people can access it.

Growing food for the community
Growing together for the community

Community growing offers solutions to building more sustainable food systems and has many benefits to building more resilient communities such as improved access to food and therefore better nutrition, increased physical activity, socialising, and combating isolation and improved mental and emotional well being.


A large part of Good Food Cheltenham’s focus is identifying where there are gaps or barriers to accessing this locally grown or locally sourced food and how we can come up with solutions to support the community to improve this.


As part of our initial scoping phase, we mapped out the current assets we have for community grown food. Working with many of the organisations listed we created the following community assets listing which is currently being mapped out on the Feeding Gloucestershire Community Growing maps.


There are over 20 different community growing sites in Cheltenham some setup as food projects, some are multiple growing spaces within one organisation and some are community allotments. The following list is deemed accurate at the time of writing but information may have changed for more information please email us at hello@goodfoodcheltenham.org.


Outside of this list of community growing projects we also have a number of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms who are setup to focus on establishing and nurturing connections between consumers and the farm itself and often offer vegetable box schemes or access to land for community growing.


Cheltenham’s Community Growing Landscape: -


Community Rest Garden - Tewkesbury Road

Cheltenham's biggest community growing space, the CRG is for everyone, you can pick your own food, you can have your own patch, you can relax. Currently open Mondays & Thursdays 9.30am till 1pm and the 2nd Saturday each month 11am till 1pm. Anyone is welcome to visit, volunteer at or join as a member. Offering PYO pesticide-free herbs, fruit & vegetables, swap or donate plant stall and opportunities to learn about gardening and wildlife with tools and snacks provided.


Project Grow - Various Sites

Plants with purpose - they provide plants & support to community growing groups to produce food for their local communities, food banks and food pantries. They give vegetables plants, herb plants, edible flowers and produce to food banks and pantries, community fridges and community kitchens across Cheltenham & Gloucestershire. Project Grow have also provided vegetable and herbs plants to Community Rest Garden, CCP, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Longfield Hospice, Norton School, Priors Park Community Allotments and many more schools, residential homes and community gardens across Gloucestershire.


Cheltenham is Growing - Various Sites

Cheltenham is Growing uses pockets of land across Cheltenham to supply salads and vegetables to some of Cheltenham's community food system with big plans to open to a market garden in 2024. Their current growing sites sit in St Aiden's, St Marks and Haydon Road Allotments in collaboration with Springbank Community Centre. As well as growing for the community they have also set up sites with Cheltenham Borough Homes for the residents of Bush Court and Cummings Court


FCH Edible Garden - FCH Campus

FCH is a vibrant green space where students and members of the local community come together to grow fruit and vegetables. Relaxed weekly gardening sessions provide time for people to connect with each other and the natural world. The garden also hosts occasional events, and over the past year these have included a community seed sowing and shared lunch event for Plant and Share month, workshop's where students learnt how to grow mushrooms in logs and an open garden slot as part of Cheltenham Heritage Open Days.


Charlton Kings Community Allotment - Sappercombe Allotments

The Community Allotment Plot is free to join and is a place to grow produce collaboratively. They discuss what the community wants to plant, share seeds, water, weed and harvest together. Sometimes we meet as a group and sometimes people want to go down at a quiet time and work on their own. The site welcomes new members to the team and will introduce you to everyone and help you get started. They don't have many rules, be nice to each other, don't undo anyone else's hard work and label anything that you plant!


Vision 21 - Sandford Park Annecy Gardens

Volunteers are invited to come along to our Annecy Garden sessions every Monday evening, between 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm at Annecy Gardens, Cheltenham. The sessions provide a practical ground for people to learn to grow their own vegetables. This free opportunity gives people the chance to attend weekly meet ups to develop skills, as well as working alongside others who can share their own personal knowledge. Continuing their great success, the volunteers grow and maintain beautiful gardens for all of the public to view.


Planet Cheltenham - Various Sites

Planet Cheltenham is open to anyone to join and become involved in. It is a climate initiative being delivered through Vision 21. There are 2 parts to it, the first is to create a sustainability centre in Cheltenham for the whole community to use. The second part is to deliver and develop a number of community based activities and solutions to help raise awareness of the dangers of climate change and offer locally based answers to challenging issues, e.g. Youth climate group, Climate changemaker challenge and energy workshops. Some of these activities include the planting and growing of sites across St Pauls and parts of Cheltenham.


Cheltenham Borough Homes - Various Sites

As one of Cheltenham's largest Housing Association's, CBH have integrated growing spaces for its residents at Monkscroft, Aldridge Close, Bush Court and Clevedon Square sites. For more information contact their Community Development Team.


Cheltenham Borough Council - Various Allotment Sites

CBC have nine allotment sites across Cheltenham predominately for residents to manage however there are a number of sites on Hayden's Road and Midwinters allotment site that are used for community growing by Cheltenham Foodbank, CCP (Caring for Communities and People); People & Places in Gloucestershire; and the St. Georges Pupil Referral Centre.


Community Orchards - Various sites

There are a number of community orchards across Cheltenham ran independently by different groups including the Friends of Pilley Bridge Nature Reserve and Community Orchard, Cheltenham, Albemarle Community Orchard Garden Group, Cheltenham at Pittville and Winston Churchill Memorial Garden


The Love Food Hub - Microgreens Growers

Based in Charlton Kings, The Love Food Hub provide healthy, plant based, non-processed Pay it forward scheme community meals and are microgreen urban growers with a focus on community health.


If you would like to be featured on this list or to subscribe to part two please subscribe at the bottom of this page.


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