A stone’s thrown from The Chancel, Incredible Edible Heaton Park would love you to get involved with their thriving allotment. The not-for-profit organisation has come into its own over the last few months, bringing the community together and reigniting a passion for growing our own food during a time of crisis. Whether you’d like to help out regularly or just make some new green-fingered pals, new faces are always welcome. ARK catches up with the team behind Incredible Edible Heaton Park to see what it’s all about.
What is Incredible Edible Heaton Park?
Incredible Edible Heaton Park (IEHP) is a group of passionate inclusive individuals who love growing, nature, the great outdoors and sharing their knowledge with others. We have the community garden which has a huge double arched polytunnel for year round growing of vegetables and plants, raised beds for herbs and fruit, a willow dome and mud kitchen area, and bee hives managed by Manchester and District Beekeepers Association. We are also responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the community orchard which is situated behind the Dower House, where we held our first Winter Solstice celebration last December.
How did it all begin?
We started up in summer 2019 when we saw the opportunity to develop the community garden and orchard in Heaton Park for the wider community to use. For many of us being outside has been even more valuable since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic as our core members were still able to continue to maintain the growing spaces throughout the lockdown.
And what do you give back to the local community?
We run general volunteer sessions, toddler groups, growing workshops and our very popular winter willow wreath workshops. The gardens have hosted corporate volunteer days, home education groups, yoga and music sessions. We are currently working closely with Outside Education to support them in their Horticulture and Science provision and we are planning many more exciting events, workshops and more including a collaboration with Prestwich Community Cinema.
Why do you love Prestwich?
We have strong connections with Prestwich and Heaton Park as we have been supported by IE Prestwich and District, Village Greens and Outside Education, and a number of our core members are from Prestwich. The Community Garden is located close to the St. Margaret’s Road Entrance, adjacent to the walled garden centre, within easy walking distance from the majority of Prestwich. We love being part of the park community and collaborating with other groups within the parks.
How can people get involved?
We are always looking for new people to get involved with the garden and orchard at IEHP. We believe in the power of actions however small, to bring about positive change within our communities that stretch over the whole of north Manchester including, Salford, Bury and Rochdale. If you would like to become a part of IE Heaton Park, whether you have experience/skills or not, if you have a passion for Heaton Park and you would like to make a difference in your community then look out for details of our general volunteer sessions on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, which will be starting up again in September.
For more information on Outside Education’s invaluable work in educating our young people, check out our blog post here.