Calling all Eco Makers and Creators! Do you care about the environment? Produce sustainable merchandise? Perhaps your products are organically produced, or have a connection to gardening, upcycling, the natural world – if all or any of this chimes with your stall then get in touch! We are on the look out for stalls to join our Makers and Creators Market at the Martineau Gardens Spring Celebration.
In our anniversary year, we’re celebrating 25 years of bringing people, plants and wildlife together at this family-friendly green fete taking place on Sunday 22 May, from 11am until 3pm.
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We will get back to you to confirm the details – in the event that we are oversubscribed with applications, we’ll set up a waiting list.
The fee is £20 per stall and you’ll need to bring your own gazebo (optional), table and chairs. Stall holders need to arrive and be set up by 10.30am, with any vehicles moved to alternative parking across the road, at the rear of Priory Hospital.
We have exciting plans for Martineau Gardens and we need your help! We are planning to replace the Mollie Martineau building (where the volunteers’ base and offices are), along with our ageing hothouse and workshops, to create a new building for now and for the next 25 years. We’d like your views on the building and what really matters in how we use the space.
We are working with APEC Architects, a local practice working, to develop the building plans. Apec Architects use a participative design process – which means your views are needed right from the outset – before any designs are developed.
APEC architects are conducting the survey, and explain:
Completing this form should only take 5 minutes but there is a question at the end that gives you the chance to tell APEC more, should you wish to.
The form is designed to be anonymous unless you choose to provide your email address at the end. The information collected is solely for the purpose of this project. For further information about APEC Architects’ GDPR policy, please visit www.apecarchitects.com.
Paper copies of this form are available too which can be emailed to print, or post out. If you know anyone who is connected to Martineau Gardens who may have difficulty completing the form themselves, please consider supporting them to answer the questions, or alternatively, contact Martineau Gardens if you would like someone to assist them.
Your answers will help us to design the new building so thanks in advance for your valuable input.
Restoring the wildflower meadow to its former glory is well underway. Despite a day of snow, rain, sun and hail, volunteers turned out in mass to get involved – we had a mass seed sowing activity covering the restored area with bee-friendly and butterfly-mix of seeds.
Our wildlife ‘meadow’ located behind the children’s play area, is an important resource for wildlife, particularly bees and butterflies. Created 15 years ago, we look after it by cutting and raking it at specific times of the year to encourage its diversity. We leave seedheads in place to drop their seeds for future growth, and a winter feast for birds. However over time the area has become quite choked with hogweed and there’s less of the wildlife-friendly plants we would expect to se. In recent months it has been receiving the attention of the therapeutic horticulture volunteers. It was a tough job, scraping off layers of topsoil, roots and debris in winter but all the volunteers worked hard and the land was left ready for the spring sowing. The area will quickly replenish and as we move into the warmer months this year, we can expect to see plenty of wildflowers returning.
Easter falls late this year, the gardens are bursting with Spring bulbs, so enjoy a breath of fresh air and pop in for a visit. We are open to the public on Easter Saturday 16 April, 10am – 4pm (free entry, but your donations are always welcomed). We close for the bank holidays, closed Good Friday, closed Easter Sunday and closed Easter Monday. Over the school holidays, we have six family activity sessions led by our environmental educational officer, Juliette Green. Martineau Mondays continue (except on bank holidays) and there are some changes to the timetable.
Celebrating 25 Years of Bringing People, Plants and Wildlife Together
The first day of #Spring is here, 2022 starts to blossom and we’re celebrating 25 years of Martineau Gardens. Thanks to our neighbours, Orb, who regularly use our space, and have donated their time to give us a fantastic new look for our anniversary year. Donations of time really make Martineau Gardens what it is, our volunteers contribute so much to this wonderful place. Join in with the celebrations!
Today we celebrated 6,000 school children taking part in environment education visits.
Children from St Catherine of Siena School visited Martineau Gardens, on a trip funded by a Hugh Kenrick Days Bursary.
The bursary scheme has funded more than 6,000 West Midlands children’s visits to environmental centres like Martineau Gardens and is managed by the National Association for Environmental Education (NAEE).
Nina Hatch NAEE Executive Director said she was delighted to be celebrating the 6000th pupil taking part in a bursary funded visit.
“Hugh Kenrick was a passionate advocate for birds and wildlife and his legacy has helped thousands of children enjoy learning in the great outdoors,” she said.
“Connecting with nature is a vital part of every child’s education, encouraging them to explore wildlife and plants in a way that they often don’t do in their day-to-day life.
“We are really delighted to celebrate at Martineau Gardens, which along with Birmingham Botanical Gardens, RSPB Sandwell Valley and Mount Pleasant School Farm play host to the bursary trips.
“We’d like to thank the Lord Mayor for joining us and the Year 3 children from St Catherine of Sienna as well as John Kenrick, Hugh’s son, who will be joining us on the day.”
The bursary was set up by Hugh’s wife Anne, who was equally passionate about the impact of environmental education, as a legacy in memory of her husband.
“It is a great achievement by teachers and the organisers of Kenrick Days that to date 6000 pupils have had the opportunity to learn outside the classroom,” said John.
“I’m sure both my parents would have been delighted at the impact of their legacy.
“This is vital environmental education, and we need to ensure more children can benefit.”
Martineau Gardens Environmental Education Teacher Juliette Green said: “These trips are a wonderful way of bringing children into new environments and encouraging them to take part in all kinds of activities, from pond dipping to plant identification.
“The natural environment links with every aspect of the school curriculum, from science and geography to art and literacy and helps children expand their horizons beyond the classroom.”
As part of the celebrations, the NAEE will be handing out 1,000 packets of sunflower seeds to children who attend visits at Martineau Gardens this year.
Like to feel an extra warm glow during this festive period of giving? Why not pick up an unusual little something from Martineau Gardens to give to friends or family? All purchases directly support the work of the Gardens.
· Potted hyacinth bulbs, traditional winter gift, £2 (and £6)
· Notelets with wintery scenes of the Gardens £2.50
Are you passionate about supporting people with learning disabilities and mental health issues in a beautiful community garden? Can you help us to raise the funds we need to continue our work through grant and trust applications which capture the community and compassion which is at the heart of Martineau Gardens?
We’re looking for a fundraiser for 2-3 days a week who can help us tell the story of the gardens and the work we do and is proactive and creative in looking for funding streams, locally, regionally and nationally.
We are a small, close team and need someone who is hands on and willing to get involved in bigger bids, working with the CEO and deputy director.
Trust and Grants Fundraiser Salary: £23,000 – £25,000 per year, pro rata Hours: Permanent, part-time, 2-3 days per week (to be agreed) Location: Edgbaston, Birmingham
“Volunteering has given me a role – there was a massive hole in my life but when I began volunteering here, I could see there was light at the end of the tunnel.”
Martineau Gardens, has been recognised for its commitment to the community receiving the Queens Award for Voluntary Service the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK. Awarded during lockdown when gatherings were not possible, a happy band of staff and volunteers from Martineau Gardens attended the awards ceremony at Birmingham Hippodrome, in October 2021. Pictured bottom right are Claire Perry and Munsab Khan who went up on stage to represent Martineau Gardens and receive the award from John Crabtree, OBE, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands.
Martineau Gardens supports volunteers on the therapeutic horticulture programme to look after the 2.5 acre free-to-enter community garden, many of whom have mental health issues and learning disabilities. A team of volunteers welcome over 10,000 visitors each year who come to enjoy its peace and tranquillity and a further team helps out with special events and courses. events. Hundreds of school children visit the outdoor ‘classrooms’ to learn about the environment. The Gardens have been described by visitors as ‘an oasis of calm in the bustling city’ and as ‘Birmingham’s hidden gem’ – all thanks to the dedication of the wonderful volunteers.
The short film boradcast at the awards ceremony featuring views and interviews at the Martineau Gardens
Martineau Gardens, Edgbaston, Birmingham is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
When the City Council-run environmental centre closed, a group of local people came together to create a community garden that would stay open for free, for the public of Birmingham to visit and care for. Established in 1997 as a volunteer-led organisation, today Martineau Gardens is a thriving independently-run registered charity.
Claire Perry, volunteer at the Gardens for over ten years said “Martineau Gardens means the world to me, to be around nature makes me calm and happy. I came here to boost my confidence, and now I’m here, I feel I’ve come out of the darkness and into the light.”
Munsab Kahn, volunteer at the Gardens said “Volunteering has given me a role – there was a massive hole in my life but when I began volunteering here, I could see there was light at the end of the tunnel.”
Gill Milburn, outgoing CEO for Martineau Gardens said “We are delighted and honoured to receive the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. Volunteers are the beating heart of Martineau Gardens. Whether supporting our work week in week out, or rising to the challenge when needed, each one makes a difference. The Award is testament to hundreds of volunteers past and present, who have given selflessly to care for our beautiful community space. We look forward to being able to have everyone back at the Gardens for a well-deserved celebration.”
Jenni Fryer, incoming CEO for Martineau Gardens said “Martineau Gardens is a much-loved, much-valued green space in the heart of the community welcoming over 10,000 visitors every year who come to enjoy its peace and tranquillity. The Gardens wouldn’t be the welcoming beautiful space it is without our volunteers.”
Martineau Gardens is open Monday to Saturday, 10am until 4pm for visits and is free to enter.
If you visit the Gardens during the winter months, you’re likely to hear a ‘plink’, ‘plink’ sound. This is the sound of wood being chopped, by hand, by the Garden Volunteer Team. Wood is donated to the Gardens by Tree Surgeons, and then gets chopped up by the volunteers and sold to customers as logs for wood-burning stoves or open fires. Not only is this an important source of income for the Gardens, but it provides plenty of physical exercise for our volunteers!
Due to the change in recent legislation requiring that logs sold for fires must be below 20% moisture content, we have been galvanised into action and, thanks to a lot of hard work from volunteers, we now have the capacity to store bags of dry logs for sale to visitors. Our volunteers work hard storing, chopping, testing and bagging up the logs – it’s quite a ‘cottage industry’. The price now is £9. If you’re making a first purchase, you’ll need to purchase a reusable hessian sacks (£3) – an ideal way way to transport your logs home. The sacks weigh 25kg.
We are very grateful to our log chopping team who continue to keep the supplies up and running and to you, our customers, who choose to support our cause by buying logs from Martineau Gardens.
If you’re making a special trip to purchase logs, we suggest you ring us first to check supplies.
Supporting a good cause: all profits from the sale of logs are ploughed back into the running costs of Martineau Gardens
We're open all year Monday to Saturday, 10am – 4pm. Free entry, Except for special events, donations welcomed.Closed on public holidays. Easter 2022: Closed Good Friday, open Sat 16, April closed Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, family activities in school holidays - see What's On. Free entry, Except for specialevents, donations welcomed.