Case Studies of The Ridgeline Trust IYN & Wroxham Community Garden

The Ridgeline Trust

The Ridgeline Trust was established as a charity in 2003 and over a period of many years with the help of many volunteers, they have managed to transform a 2 acre piece of waste ground completely covered with weeds and brambles into a beautiful garden, with all the facilities needed to serve a variety of disabled gardeners and supporting volunteers - tools, storage sheds, a greenhouse, a polytunnel, wheelchair-friendly paths, raised beds and - finally, wonderfully, - a fully accessible timber building offering meeting space, kitchen and toilets - all funded by generous (and hard-won) donations and grants from various awarding bodies. It was a long journey and they are proud of what they have achieved.

Wroxham Community Garden

It all began in Sept 2011 when residents of Wroxham contacted their local councillor to ask him if some unsightly concrete structures could be moved. Finding there was no money for removal, nine residents decided that disguise was the only option. Noticing a sale of log rolls, Jeff and Eileen Mann used them to make planters, and incorporated a bird table into the middle. The nine residents pooled resources to buy plants, and a local councillor gave a £100 grant to pay for materials and plants for a large border at the edge of the garden. Residents donated plants too, and ideas for further transformation came thick and fast: a border was created around a cherry tree, replacing weeds; daffodils, were planted, then spare seedlings were added from residents' grennhouses. What to do with an ugly asphalt area? Happily, the Recreational Facilities Manager provided some used bark chippings, and Jeff and Eileen added some more. And the rough grass area? Well, wild-flower seeds were sewn – cowslip, primrose, buttercup and knapweed – attractive to insects and residents alike! On the other side of the patch the group planted vegetables, fruit and flowers; and, after an attack by greedy slugs, Jeff built raised beds for these. Ever inventive, he also created a Mr Potter feature made from recycled pots, a broken fork and leaky willies. The herb garden sprouts from an old wheelbarrow. Other donations have brought colour and elegance: a mimosa, a large fern, a conker-grown chestnut tree and a bird bath. A salvaged water-butt has helped hugely with watering the pots, and a pew bought from a local church sale provides a delightful garden seat. Jeff’s carpentry skills have come in handy in responding to the wish-list of the children in the group. Hearing that they liked windmills, he constructed one; and learning that one little girl would like a wishing well he built one of those too, and filled it with plants. So in the years since that first planter was built this small group of neighbours has transformed the area into a lovely garden, giving pleasure to all the residents; and they feel that working together on this has brought them all much closer together.