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].