Gareth Lorman, Project Officer 

The idea for a plant nursery came to me when I first arrived to work at Nene Park Trust. I was keen to start growing and a nursery space was on my bucket list, but knew it would take a tremendous amount of work and require a considerable budget to build a space from scratch. As a result I put these thoughts on hold but continued to develop the ideas should an opportunity arise.

Several years later this project suddenly seemed possible with the exciting Your Community Greenspace project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. I set to work putting together a proposal pack outlining all the what, where and why - and who it would benefit.

At its heart, the Nene Community Nursery is a “micro nursery”/ garden created to benefit local communities, including underrepresented groups and communities in and around Peterborough, local schools, volunteers, staff, the NHS and apprentices.

The Nursery consists of a potting shed, poly tunnel, accessible raised beds including fruit and herbs beds, composting area, and even an accessible composting toilet. It will be a place of security and calm for all users. On entry to the Nursery, users will be surrounded by plants and flowers, with smells and sounds to promote learning and relaxation.

We hope to provide many activities; teaching how to grow plants from seed, propagation and plant aftercare will be at the core but we would also like to expand to cooking the produce grown and picked on site.

Other activities we hope to consider in the future are residency courses such as herbal tea blending or soap making using our freshly picked herbs. It could also be used as a bookable private space for gardening clubs or social groups.

None of this would be possible without a huge team effort, from securing the funding, to the Nene Park Trust staff team and most importantly our Nene Park Trust volunteers. The volunteers have done us proud. You can see their work all over the Nursery and our volunteers will help run and maintain the nursery over the years to come.

Many thanks to the Augean Community Fund for also funding the construction of Nene Nursery.