Growing communities across Torbay

Participants on the Green Skills course held at Great Parks Community Centre in March

Participants on the Green Skills course held at Great Parks Community Centre in March. - Credit: Groundwork South

Jenny has never made compost - at least, she says, she’s never made it properly. 

Her fellow participants on the Green Skills course agree that there is more to the skill of decomposition than they thought; someone even calls the way you need to carefully balance the mix of ‘ingredients’ a sort of art.

Indeed, you could describe gardening as an art form in itself, as long as by doing so you don’t forget that it is also a science, a form of exercise, a mental health booster, an opportunity to impact our ecological footprint and an important way to build social connections.

The training that Jenny is taking part in is being run by Groundwork South at Great Parks Community Centre in King’s Ash and Jenny just happens to be the centre’s chair of trustees – which is part of the reason she wanted to come on the course.

Like other community centres across Torbay, Great Parks has a community garden, and while this particular growing area may be relatively small, the trustees and volunteers have big plans for it. 

Just as gardening refuses to fit into one category of description, neither does this community garden.

Part of the small community garden at Great Parks Community Centre. 

Part of the small community garden at Great Parks Community Centre. - Credit: Groundwork South

For the members of the community without their own garden, it has the potential to be a source of locally grown food; for the youth club it could be a space to come and look for minibeasts; while for the parent and toddler group the garden could house a ‘mud kitchen’ and other exploratory play opportunities for this age group.

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Jenny and the team know that the garden has the potential to be many things to many people in this community and to play an important role in helping people emerge from the recent difficult times.

However, they know they need to learn more – from improving their composting skills to how to garden in windy locations! – so they can support their community.  

To find out more about how you can support the Great Parks Community Garden or any other Green Space groups in Torbay please contact Hannah Worthington on 07940510616 or email hannah.worthington@groundwork.org.uk