Developing a space for people to gather, learn and eat…weeds!
In 2015 we were approached by Great Places Housing Group who asked us to develop a patch of land in Brierfield which had been donated to them by a local resident. Working with Great Places, Outdoor UK, and the residents living nearby, we designed something a little different for the triangle of land called Burton Gardens.
The space was designed to be a low maintenance wild food and native species community garden. We built a contemporary outdoor area with a circular stone seating feature which serves as a multipurpose central focal point, and nestled it within a vibrant and sustainable fruit garden. The space became a hub for the local community to enjoy, whilst also learning about wild food and biodiversity. Slow-growing native fruit trees including apple, pear, elder and rowan grow tall there while the ground is covered with wild edible herbs and flowers.
While the garden took shape, we connected with local residents of all ages through a series of events to share skills and knowledge of forest gardening, food-for-free, and even outdoor food preparation. Some of our food highlights included wild garlic butter, sorrel soup, elderflower cordial, pear and apple crumble, apple juice, and elderberry and rowan jam. We facilitated an engagement programme with chef and local food activist Gill Watson and also explored the recycling and repurposing of objects that had been disposed of on the site.