World Mental Health Day 2021 October 6, 2021

The arrival of autumn can often feel disconcerting but here at Martineau Gardens, we garden together, whatever the weather and feel all the better for it. The colour in the Gardens at this time of year bring such joy, from berries and fungi to foliage and even the odd crabapple still hanging, it’s a pleasure to spend time outside and connect with nature.

For people with existing mental health conditions, the strains of the continued pandemic and seasonal change can contribute to greater dips in wellbeing, the tranquillity and calm of Martineau Gardens brings stability for many of our regular volunteers on the Therapeutic Horticulture programme. The culture created here can go a long way in navigating these unsettling times, volunteering providing a fixed point in times of turmoil.

This Sunday 10 October 2021 is #WorldMentalHealthDay – an opportunity for us all to check in on our own mental health. At Martineau Gardens we support people with mental health issues through therapeutic horticulture.

Jenni Fryer, Acting CEO for Martineau Gardens said: “Martineau Gardens is open six days a week – we invite all our supporters and visitors to take a moment to benefit from the peaceful surroundings here by visiting. If you haven’t been here for a while, come and see us and if you can’t do that, donate to help us continue to flourish..”

Whilst we are closed on Sunday 10 October, Martineau Gardens continues to be open for free, Mondays to Saturdays, 10am until 4pm and entry is free.

We are appreciative of the long-term support of our corporate partners:

Jo Malone London    Nicholls Brimble Bhol Solicitors   

Autumn Half-Term Family Activities October 6, 2021

Family activities are back for Autumn half-term! Make time to enjoy some fresh air and crafts with an environmental focus, in the surroundings of Martineau Gardens. Choose from Autumn Activities on Wednesday 27 October or Halloween Activities on Friday 29 October. There are four sessions to choose from across the two days – read on for more information – advance booking advised for these popular events, you can book your tickets direct via WeGotTickets using the links below.

Autumn Activities, Wednesday 27 October: Join Juliette, our Environmental Education Teacher, for a signs of autumn walk, Autumn Trail, nature art and craft (leaf rubbing badges, conker spiders, pinecone bats), pond dipping and a minibeast hunt.

Halloween Activities,Friday 29 October: Stir up a smelly potion, do some Halloween-themed nature crafts, play games and finish with a story walk in the woods (by candlelight for the later session). Costumes welcome! 

Here’s what you need to know:

Suitable for children aged 3-12.

Tickets: £7.50 per child (inc. online booking fee) for a 2-hour session; adults are not charged and entrance to Martineau Gardens is free. Advance booking essential for these popular actiivties.

This is family learning, and a parent or other adult is required to join in with the activity (but does not need to pay). Additional adults are welcome but due to space constraints cannot join in the activity (there is plenty to explore in the Gardens during the session).

Please dress appropriately for the weather, since the session will take place outside. Bring a drink and a snack, or bring your packed lunch if you’d like to have a picnic. Please note that Martineau Gardens serves hot and cold drinks (donations welcome) but not food.

Buy tickets with WeGotTickets

September – expect a few changes! September 8, 2021

September 2021 is busy here at Martineau Gardens, we have lots going on which we hope you’ll enjoy. It also means a few changes to our opening hours, access to the car park and for special events, admission charges apply. Read on to to find out moreclick on the links below to visit the event web pages.

Dates for your diary and special arrangements

The Late Summer Garden Party, Sat 11 September, 3pm – 7pm (advance booking advised) Gardens closed on the 11th to general public due to event set-up

Vitality Blast Cricket car park: Sat 18 September
(parking tickets only on the gate)
Gardens open but no public parking except cricket

Autumn Event, Sun 19 September, 11am – 3pm (tickets on the gate)

Flatpack Film Festival Presents:
Here for Life, Fri 24 September, 8pm – 9.30pm
(advance booking via the organisers )

Green woodworking transforms July 30, 2021

For some time, we have hoped to organise Green Woodworking sessions attended by Therapeutic Horticulture volunteers. It’s always sad when mature trees fall in times of drought, or limbs are brought down by high winds, we’ve been wanting to re-use the wood around the Gardens by transforming them into benches, tables and sculptures. Due to continued funding we receive from Jo Malone London, enabling activities like this to go ahead,


Goodbye Miranda! July 28, 2021

On a warm afternoon in July 2021, with the gardens full of scent and colour  looking their best, staff and volunteers gathered for an afternoon tea party to bid a fond and emotional farewell to Miranda Kingston.


Summertime – a sensory walk around Martineau Gardens July 23, 2021

New moth identified July 9, 2021

Andrew Curran, one of our longstanding volunteer wildlife recorders, was elated to report his recent discovery, after the latest moth identification session:

 “The moth was sighted by the lower oak canopy near the earth oven on Thursday 8th July. I thought it was Yellow-legged Clearwing which was recorded here at Martineau Gardnes, several times in the past. To my great delight, this beautiful moth proved to be Orange-tailed Clearwing. A new identification for Martineau Gardens and nationally scarce”

Find out more about how we indentify and record moths, using a moth trap (all moths are released quickly and not harmed)

Our music for the evening June 28, 2021

Huge thanks to Tauny Southwood  who has come on board by bringing bands, ‘Jazz on Tap’ and ‘Tayz & the Drolls’ to the Garden Party.  Read on for more details about the bands.


Reducing the plastic in play May 24, 2021

For those of you who have been following the story regarding the renovation of our Shipwreck Play Area, you will remember how we have been focusing on a natural play experience, which will engage children’s imagination. With our commitment to wildlife and the environment we wanted to keep materials as green as possible, creating a green play space that reflects our values was important to us.

We were delighted when local business Envirotoy got in touch with a good deal around their plastic-free toys. They gave us a number of sets and we were so pleased with them that we bought additional sets for busy times.

Stuart Loach (Envirotoy) with the plastic-free toys by the newly created sandpit

Pictured here, Stuart Loach (Director, Envirotoy) personally delivering the plastic-free play sets. The wooden sand play sets are made from ‘planwood’ a type of moulded wood that uses left over sawdust and good for waterplay too.

Prior to the official launch, our volunteers gave the sandpit area a test run and of course, a cermonial sandcastles were made.

Members of the Garden Team give the buckets and spades a test run!

Stay in touch with our plans, by following the story on social media. You can find out more about Envirotoy here.

Good news for birdlovers and bees May 7, 2021

We’re delighted to have completed the repairs to our bird hide thanks to a Magic Little Grant of £500 and the hard work of our volunteers who did all the renovations. The grant also funded the planting of even more bee-friendly plants as part of our work in facilitating natural beekeeping methods.