Now's the time to adopt a garden

By Richard Wright

Published on Friday, February 22, 2013 - 13:05


GARDENING For those who are frustrated spring is just around the corner as they do not have a growing space — try The Footprint Trust’s Adopt-A-Garden scheme.

Thanks to funding from the Santander Foundation would-be gardeners can now, take advantage of free "Can you Dig it?" training, plus a free local growing space to practice their new skills.

"There is a shortage of allotments on the Island, but we now have a database of dozens of gardens in most towns that need 'adopting’," said Ray Harrington-Vail, of the charity.

"The free training is to take place in Newport on two Saturdays in March — just before the planting season starts. Spaces are limited so people must ring up or e-mail to get a free place."

The Adopt-A-Garden scheme was launched on the Island in 2008 and has been featured on local and national radio and in the gardening press, including this column.

To date, more than 100 people who want growing spaces have been matched with those who need theirs cared-for — and all those taking part have a free CRB police check to keep things safe.

"Thanks to funding from the Santander Foundation, free training, primarily for young people, can be provided to give basic gardening skills, but everyone else is welcome too," says Ray.

"It is hoped those trained will then go on to 'adopt’ an elderly neighbour’s garden and then share the produce."

The cost of running the Adopt-a-Garden project relies on individual donations, plus the trust’s mobile phone and broken jewellery recycling schemes.

• To find out more, visit, phone or text 822282, or e-mail

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