New building survey – we need your views! April 4, 2022

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.

Fill out the survey on-line here:

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

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.

The APEC Architects Team

Click here to begin the survey – we would be very grateful if you can complete the form by Tuesday 19 April 2022.

Renovating the wildflower meadow April 1, 2022

Summer is here and our renovated wildflower meadow is looking like paradise.

What a beautiful way to spend the longest day! On 21 June 2022, our fantastic team of volunteers (who worked long and hard over the winter to dig out and replant our wildflower meadow) have been working on the finishing touches of this beautiful spot, a welcome stopping off point for visitors and bees alike.

Restoring the wildflower meadow to its former glory is complete. Looking back over the months, here’s a record of all the hard work. back in later winter, 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’ is located behind the children’s play area – it’s 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 had become quite choked with hogweed and there was less of the wildlife-friendly plants we would expect to see. Work began – 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.

What’s happening at Easter April 1, 2022

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.

More information:

Easter Holiday Family Activities – advance booking esential – click here for details

Martineau Mondays – updates in April

Celebrating 25 years of Martineau Gardens March 21, 2022

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!

Come to one of our special events — look out for announcements about what’s planned here – make a note in your diary!

Celebrating 6000th Environmental Education Visit   March 18, 2022

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.

Any school in the West Midlands can apply for the Hugh Kenrick Bursary via

Festive Giving—that supports Martineau Gardens December 10, 2021

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

· Preserves and chutneys, made from the produce of the Gardens, £3.50

· Beekeeping Courses 2022 vouchers now on sale—£70 and £125

· A hessian sack of seasoned logs, handchopped by our volunteers (£9 for a 25kg bag)

Pop into the gardens to buy in person, cash or card welcomed! Or call the office on 0121 4407430 to make a payment.

Jobs: Trust and Grants Fundraiser for Martineau Gardens November 5, 2021

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

Closing date: 05 December 2021
To apply: Please view our advert with Charity Jobs here, where you can download the supporting documents. Applications should only be made through Charity Jobs and not directly to ourselves.

Martineau Gardens receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service October 18, 2021

Pictured here, left to right John Crabtree, OBE, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Claire Perry and Munsab Khan volunteers for Martineau Gardens Picture credit: Dale Martin

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.  

Click to view ITV’s report ‘inside the secret garden’

The good news caught the attention of the press with splashes in the Birmingham Post and the Mail and a report was broadcast on ITV Central. View the tv coverage here for a rewarding glimpse of life ‘behind the scenes’ including a Green woodworking session, digging up vegetables and candid interviews with volunteers and staff.      

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.

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