Update: September 2023

Our new community plant nursery, Nene Nursery, is now open and will soon be offering sessions for individuals and community groups to improve plant knowledge, skills, health and wellbeing, thanks to funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

Nene Nursery has been created by Nene Park Trust staff and volunteers as part of our five-year Your Community Greenspace project. The site of the old wood yard on the edge of Ferry Meadows has been transformed into a fully-equipped community nursery, complete with a potting shed, polytunnel, accessible raised beds including fruit and herbs beds, composting area, covered meeting area, plenty of seating and even a composting toilet!  

The aim is that the nursery will be an accessible place of security and calm where users are surrounded by plants, flowers, smells and sounds, to promote learning and relaxation.

Over the next few months, we are hoping to develop many different activities at the nursery which can be accessed by different groups. Teaching how to grow plants from seed, propagation and plant aftercare will be at the core of nursery activities but there are also plans to expand to cooking the produce grown and picked on site.

Other activities being considered in the future are residency courses such as herbal tea blending or soap making using our freshly picked herbs, and as a base for therapeutic horticulture sessions. The nursery can also be used as a bookable private space for gardening clubs, social or corporate groups, who just want to come and enjoy this peaceful space.

Nene Nursery has been constructed through funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Augean Community Fund. Nene Park Trust has also received funding from RHS Flourish Fund to enable two six month horticultural apprentice placements on site for young people not currently in education or employment. 

Gareth Lorman, Nene Park Trust Project Officer and the driving force behind Nene Nursery says: “We are so pleased to see the nursery completed and can’t wait to invite groups and individuals to use and enjoy the space. Thank you so much to staff and volunteers who have worked so hard to create this special place, which we know will bring so many benefits to so many. Thanks too to National Lottery Players, to The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The Augean Community Fund for helping to fund the nursery construction and operation.”

On Monday 11th September, we held a launch event at the nursery where representatives from local accessibility and community groups as well as NHS social prescribers came for a tour of the nursery and to get a flavour of its future potential.

If you would like to find out more about using the nursery or signing up for future sessions, please email [email protected].

Nene Nursery forms an important part of Your Community Greenspace, our overarching National Lottery Heritage Fund project to make Ferry Meadows an inclusive outdoor community hub. 

Our volunteer-run horticultural nursery at the entrance to Ferry Meadows Country Park. will create an inclusive, safe and accessible community space that will:

  • Help our local communities connect with nature, grow understanding and skills and accrue health and wellbeing benefits.
  • Allow us to propagate plants and trees for use in the Park and elsewhere, providing a sustainable route to support the parks natural heritage and biodiversity.
  • Strengthen the volunteering offer and capacity at Nene Park.
  • In time, and with expert help, pilot a therapeutic horticulture / social prescribing service bringing real benefits to local people with health issues.

We are very pleased to have secured two grants that will help move forward our exciting plans the nursery.

The Augean Community Fund, using money provided by Augean under the Landfill Communities Fund, have kindly granted £16,000 towards the construction of the nursery as well as tools and equipment including our first cargo e-bike to deliver plants across our estate.

The RHS Flourish Fund is part of an initiative by the Royal Horticultural Society to attract and support a wider range of people to work in horticulture. We have secured £15,000 through this fund, allowing us to offer two six-month work placements and RHS Level 2 training for graduates from our NEETS (young people Not in Education Employment or Training) work experience programme, alongside a two-year Horticulture Apprentice opportunity based at the nursery.

Our heartfelt thanks to all the funders and supporters of this impactful project. Watch this space for further updates in the coming months as Nene Nursery begins to take shape.

The Nene Nursery space is taking shape with a shed and polytunnel being put up. Over the next few months we’ll be putting in raised beds and making the space wheelchair accessible. We’re really excited about the opportunities this space will bring to the Park and to Peterborough. As well as the obvious benefit of growing plants for the Park, this will be a safe and welcoming space for all to access. We will work in partnership with NHS Prescribers to deliver wellbeing sessions, so that more people can enjoy that feel-good serotonin boost that comes from getting your hands in the soil and growing something. And we will be looking at how we can connect with other groups in Peterborough so they too can access the nursery and enjoy those benefits.