What is a Community Garden?

Find out why Community Gardens are good for us by watching this video.

NHS Midlands and East commissioned Martineau Gardens to report how the community garden is a model for improving public health and resilience in Birmingham, with particular focus on the impact of the garden and gardening on the mental health and well being of the people of Birmingham. The film documents the activities of Martineau Gardens (and other urban growing projects) with evidence from staff, volunteers and visitors who use the Gardens.

What is a Community Garden?

People often ask us, ‘What is a Community Garden?’. We think the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens  (FCFCG) explains this rather well: 

“City farms and community gardens are community managed projects working with people, animals
and plants. They range from tiny wildlife gardens to fruit and vegetable plots on housing estates,
from community polytunnels to large city farms. City farms and community gardens are often
developed by local people in a voluntary capacity, and commonly retain a strong degree of volunteer involvement.”

What’s the background?

“The origins of community farms and gardens stem back to therapeutic gardens associated with
hospitals, school growing areas and early cooperative agricultural systems. Changes in cultures
and land-management systems led to ownership of land falling into fewer hands and a move away
from outdoor learning and therapy. However, the last half of the 20th century has seen a resurgence in community food growing, partly inspired by the growth of the community garden movement in the United States. Influence from the Netherlands generated interest in community farming and in 1972 the UK’s first city farm was established in Kentish Town, London.”

The FCFCG was established in 1980 and is the representative body for city farms, community gardens and similar community-led land-based organisations in the UK. You can find out more about this excellent organisation here. 

The Value of Community Gardens

Coming soon …

The Contribution of Community Gardens to Public Health in Birmingham. This report which was commissioned by NHS Midlands and East will be published here shortly.

Therapeutic Horticulture at Martineau Gardens

Martineau Gardens provides a unique therapeutic horticulture service to people from all over the city.

What is Therapeutic Horticulture?