Thank you to everyone who has used the donate button to help us weather the storm. Your kindness and generosity is making a big difference to Martineau Gardens and the people we support.
Staff not on furlough, sessional workers and volunteers are looking after the gardens and keeping things ticking over. A member of staff is staying in touch with our volunteers by phone, providing whatever support is possible. Therapeutic Horticulture has restarted.
An update on public access
The temporary closure of our gates (due to the pandemic) has meant we have lost a vital income stream that events and public visits generate. Remaining closed to visitors has not been an easy decision, but this is a time when the volunteers on our Therapeutic Horticulture programme need the service more than ever. To balance an operational Therapeutic Horticulture programme and have oversight for visitor safety would demand greater staffing resources than we possess, and we are reluctant to put our wonderful Visitor Welcome team in harm’s way. We are constantly reviewing the situation and will update you when we feel the time is right to welcome everyone back.
We look forward to being able to welcome visitors back to Martineau Gardens as soon as it is safe to do so. Until then we wish you all well.
Sue Roberts thoughtfully signalled her intention to step down as the Chair of Trustees at Martineau Gardens, at last year’s AGM. We are all sad to see Sue go, as the organisation has benefitted so much under her stewardship. Sue says of her six years with the Gardens: ”Martineau Gardens is a charity that I truly believe is a jewel in the city’s crown. Receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is a testament to the amazing work of our volunteers, staff and trustees and to the generosity of our supporters.
I have very much enjoyed working with the trustees and with the Gardens’ fabulous staff team over this time. We have seen some wonderful changes and the Gardens are looking more beautiful than ever. Our newly refurbished Pavilion has been a huge success, as has the Jo Malone London Courtyard Garden. Bookings of the Gardens and of the Pavilion have grown significantly. I am delighted that Tim Bruton, a fellow long-standing Trustee, has agreed to take on the role of Chair. I know that post Covid-19, the Gardens will continue to go from strength to strength under the stewardship of Tim, Gill our CEO and the Gardens’ dedicated volunteers, staff and trustees.”
Pictured below, scenes from the Martineau Gardens Summer Garden Party, just one of Sue’s contributions to the Gardens. This annual fundraising event wouldn’t have happened without Sue’s tireless energy, dedication and passion for Martineau Gardensfor which we appreciate her so much for.
As we enter our fourth month since lockdown began, the therapeutic horticulture project, which is at the heart of all that we do and how the community at Martineau Gardens interacts, remains a vital service. In the early days of the pandemic, our staff were doing their best to provide telephone support to the more vulnerable of our volunteers, a service that still continues. As lockdown eased, we wanted to facilitate the return of some volunteers, and this has been made possible by the Heart of England Community Foundation. Due to their support we have engaged additional staff and the volunteers are now gardening in socially distanced pairs. It’s through their efforts our two and a half acre site has remained nurtured despite this summer’s extreme weather. The Gardens are an oasis of tranquillity and we look forward to a time when we can share it with you. Whilst most staff have remained on furlough, a slimmed down core team have been delivering fresh, organically grown garden produce to those volunteers not yet able to return to the Gardens and many volunteers are delighted to be receiving medals, in honour of our recent Queens Award for Voluntary Service.
Behind closed gates, our volunteers have been dividing and propagating plants and caring for seedlings sown in early Spring. Without our regular visitors popping in, the Plant Sales area had amassed quite a stock. With some trepidation we organised a one-off plant sale earlier this month, with social distancing measures in place, and were delighted to have such warm support from our Friends and supporters. Sales included strawberry plants, herbs, scented geraniums, and irises. Visitors commented on how wonderful it was to be back in the Gardens again, despite not being able explore the full area, and appreciated being able to buy plants and compost in a safe place. A small cohort of staff and volunteers ran the event and we were delighted to raise £800 which is so vital at this time.
The pandemic has forced us all to look at new ways to stay connected with each other, but has also seen so many of us connecting with nature more frequently. Martineau Gardens’ Environmental Education Officer Juliette Green created a series of on-line events for children and their families to bring a bit of a sparkle to their daily exercise by encouraging them to look deeper at the nature around them. Over five weeks, Juliette filmed various locations around Martineau Gardens and broadcast her videos live which can be viewed on-line.
There’s a range of themes to enjoy, including a pond-dip, a minibeast hunt, a tree tour, a dinosaur hunt and, with Sam Walker (our volunteer beekeeper) a close up investigation of one of our beehives. Not just for children, these films are very informative and will further knowledge of the natural world around us. Here’s a sample of two of the films, with more to follow soon.
Inside the Hive – bees at Martineau Gardens
Juliette and Sam find out what’s buzzing inside the hives.
Tree Tour of Martineau Gardens
Do you struggle to identify trees in leaf? This video of a summer walk , narrated by Juliette video is full of information and tips to help you!
We love sharing
Martineau Gardens and the joy of gardening with our visitors. Until we are able
to open our gates again in full, we hope you will enjoy this one-off
opportunity to purchase a little bit of Martineau Gardens. Something to take
home for your windowsill, front step or garden and to remind you of us.
At the Plant Sale, you’ll be able to purchase plants and compost (limited supplies) but, with regret, there will be no access to the gardens, toilets or picnic/play areas. There will be no refreshments. *Social distancing measures will be observed (full details below).
What’s for sale?
The plants available include a variety of perennials and annuals grown by the Martineau Gardens volunteers including herbs, scented geraniums, irises, strawberry plants, and so much more.
Multi-purpose peat-free compost is available, though limited to two bags per household. Pay at sales point in exchange for a voucher, and a volunteer will be on hand to exchange the voucher for the compost.
What to expect:
We strongly advise you to read the following before visiting the Plant Sale
In order to keep you,
our visitors, and our staff and volunteers safe during the Plant Sale now that
government guidelines relating to Covid-19 are relaxing, please read the
Arrival at the Plant Sale:
On arrival in the car
park, if there is a queue, pedestrians should please join the queue at the head
of the access lane, observing the 2m social distancing guidance. If arriving by
car, please park and join the queue/ remain in your car if there is a queue.
If the car park is full
the gate will be closed. Please try again later. Parking is only available
within the Martineau Gardens car park.
There will be a one way
pedestrian system in and out of the Plant Sale (entrance via the track and Tai
Chi Lawn, exit via the Welcome Shelter).
Two people per household only beyond the Welcome Shelter with
max of four people (two households) in the Plant Sales are at any time.
During your time at the Plant Sale, please
observe social distancing of 2m with staff and other customers and observe the
directional signage for the one way system. If the additional person with you
is a child, please keep them close to you and supervised.
Please only pick up plants you will be
Please bring your own bags or boxes to put
your purchases in.
We anticipate 20 – 30
minutes for each visit
Please note there will
be no toilet facility available.
If you, or anyone in your household is displaying
Covid-19 like symptoms, please do not visit the Plant Sale.
Advice for those with limited mobility:
Parts of the one way route may be challenging for wheelchairs since the route passes over grass (the Tai Chi Lawn) and gravel (the track). If this poses a concern for you, please contact the office on 0121 440 7430.
We prefer card sales,
but can accept cash.
If you would like to add a donation to your purchase we will be most
Please remember that the toilets, picnic and play
areas, buildings and wider areas of the gardens remain closed during the Plant
The herb bed with welcome shelter in the background
Martineau Gardens during Lockdown
Your purchases will help to support the Gardens during this difficult time. If you’d like to know what’s been going at Martineau Gardens during Lockdown, please keep an eye on our website, follow us on social media or sign-up to receive our email bulletins here.
Martineau Gardens remains closed to the public, the plant sale is a one-off fundraising activity.
Martineau Gardens is delighted to announce that on Tuesday 2 June 2020, we have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Watch our celebratory slide show here: (2 minutes of glorious Martineau Gardens’ memories for you)
You can read the full story here, in our media release.
Local charity Martineau Gardens, based in Edgbaston, has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Established in 1997 as a volunteer-led organisation, Martineau Gardens became a registered charity in 2001 with a volunteer board of trustees. The organisation now supports volunteers on the therapeutic horticulture programme to look after the 2.5 acre free-to-enter community garden.
A team of volunteers welcome over 10,000 visitors each year and a further team helps out with open days and events. Martineau Gardens has 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.
Martineau Gardens 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.
Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including a community shop in Cornwall, an environmental group in Swansea, a group working with refugees and vulnerable people in Stirling and a thriving community arts centre in County Down.
Representatives of Martineau Gardens will receive the award from John Crabtree, OBE, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands later this summer. Furthermore two volunteers from Martineau Gardens will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.
Sue Roberts, Chair of Trustees says: “We are delighted and honoured to receive the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. Volunteers arethe beating heart of Martineau Gardens. Whether supporting our work week in week out, or rising tothe challenge when needed, each one makes a difference. The Award is testament to hundreds ofvolunteers past and present, who have given selflessly to care for our beautiful community space. Welook forward to being able to have everyone back at the Gardens for a well-deserved celebration.”
Martineau Gardens is currently closed due to COVID -19. During normal times of operation, Martineau Gardens is open to the public to visit, free entry, Monday to Saturday 10am until 4pm except Bank Holidays. In addition to the Therapeutic Horticulture volunteer project and the Education service, the Gardens host events and courses, provide venue hire and sell plants and produce.
The Queen’s Award Voluntary for Service
1. Lord Lieutenants represent the monarch in each of the
UK’s ceremonial counties.
2. This year there were 230 recipients of The Queen’s Award Voluntary Service from across the UK. More information on the recipients and the Award can be found here
3. Any group of two or more people that has participated in voluntary work for more than three years can be nominated for the award. Full details on how to nominate are available here
4. Nominations for the 2021 awards close on 25 September 2020.
The brothers improving our new vegetable bed in early March
Calm moments by the pond
We need your support more than ever during these difficult times. Please help us to carry on so that we can still be the hope in many people’s lives. As a small organisation we’re facing all the challenges that temporary closure (due to Government advice around Covid-19) brings. With public visits, venue hire and events postponed, and the corresponding income streams removed, we are doing our best to weather the storm.
Donations now will ensure our running costs are met meaning we can continue to be the place where people, plants and wildlife meet.
We are trying to look after the Gardens as long as we can, within the current guidelines. We look to the future where we can be a safe and welcoming space for all to connect with nature and improve wellbeing. Many of us will need this more than ever.
Our Gardens still need to be tended, during this temporary closure, and we are hugely appreciative of those who are in a position to be able to getto Martineau Gardens and keep on top of the gardening.
Click here to donate to Martineau Gardens
Local Giving – our chosen on-line giving platform for collecting donations (including gift-aid), have reduced their fees. Find out more here
At time of writing, playparks across the country have been closed. Hard times for children.
You’re never too young to benefit from time spent outside – the play area at Martineau Gardens has been a well-used, much loved area providing opportunity for children to engage their imagination and improve their wellbeing at the same time. Using the natural landscape and features of the Gardens in play, whether it’s hide and seek, sandpit constructions, picnics or pirate fun – families can connect with nature and each other. Martineau Gardens is a safe and an inclusive space offering play without cost, within an area of extreme economic disparity. School children on educational visits also play here during their lunch breaks.
Due to a big increase in footfall recently, in the winter months we plan to update and repair the Pirate Shipwreck area- it will be in keeping with our commitment to consider the environment and wildlife in all we do.