Community Gardeners in Scotland Get Cash Boost

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Funding with hands-on RHS mentoring and practical advice will help build skills and support groups at a local level









The world’s leading gardening charity has revealed the 12 community groups who will receive funding to help with gardening projects in communities across Scotland.* The three-year scheme is making £100,000 available to schools and community groups, and £30,000 has been awarded this year.

More than 100 applications were received and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) reviewed each one at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) last month. Four flagship projects were chosen to receive grants of up to £6,300 along with support and training from the RHS Scotland team, Angela Smith and Mairi Coxon. A further eight projects are due to receive grants of up to £500 each, and will also gain support from the team.

Ruth Evans, RHS Director of Education, Communities and Fundraising, said: “We’re delighted to be helping gardening groups in Scotland on such important and wonderful local projects that will make a substantive difference to people’s lives. For example, in Glasgow, our funds and expertise are being used to turn a disused space into a growing area and orchard designed to serve the whole local community.

“An important aim of the RHS is to provide direct and meaningful support to grassroots gardeners and to have a more lasting presence in communities across Scotland," said Ruth. "More than 900 schools in Scotland already take part in RHS Campaign for School Gardening, we have nearly 6,000 RHS members, 21 RHS Partner Gardens and more than 300 community gardening groups in towns, cities and villages in Scotland. We are also establishing fantastic partnerships with like-minded organisations, such as RBGE and Beautiful Scotland, which will be crucial in helping us achieve this objective.

“The number of applications shows clearly that there’s a hunger for, and awareness of, the benefits of community gardening in Scotland," Ruth Evans said. "This is fantastic and we want to help meet this demand. Obviously, it’s a shame we could not support every group who applied but there will be another opportunity next year, so do watch this space.”

The RHS has also provided an additional £10,000 to fund four projects working in partnership with BBC2’s The Beechgrove Garden. This includes the creation of a sensory garden for patients at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, the regeneration of Glenfinart Walled Garden near Dunoon and a new growing space at Moniack Mhor Writers Centre near Inverness.**

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Notes to editors

 For more information, interview opportunities and images please contact Ed Horne, RHS Press Officer, on 020 7821 3356 or

*Four flagship projects:

• Heart of Scotstoun (Glasgow) - £6,300

Scotstoun’s Greenhouse

The Heart of Scotstoun Community Centre is a vibrant community-owned and run facility. HoS wishes to create an outdoor facility that will allow local people to be involved all year round on garden-related activities. This would take the form of a large polytunnel greenhouse situated outside the community centre on unused land, and big enough to be the setting for a range of activities for all ages.

• Toryglen Community Base (Glasgow) - £5,010

Our Growing community

Toryglen Community Base is a new build with substantial amounts of vacant green-space around it. The intention is to improve this space and to turn it into a community garden for the benefit of the users of the Base and other local people. The garden will comprise beds that are accessible for people with disabilities, spaces to grow flowers, vegetables and herbs, and a small orchard.

• Fraserburgh Development Trust (Fraserburgh) £2,500

Fraserburgh Community Garden

The aim is to establish a Community Garden in Fraserburgh. This will provide a much-needed community space. A steering group has been formed, consisting of numerous partners. The intention would be to provide a safe environment for community groups and school pupils to become involved in activities in the garden. This would lead to encouraging more active life styles and skill-development opportunities.

• Penicuik Community Development Trust Ltd (Penicuik) - £1,800

The Lost Garden of Penicuik

The Lost Garden of Penicuik is a community-led project to restore one of Britain’s grandest fruit and vegetable gardens to full production. It incorporates the Penicuik Community Food Project, which aims to bring fresh locally grown food to the local community. Situated on the edge of a busy dormitory town, the garden is a national treasure that has been left unused for 50 years. In bringing it back to useful life as a sustainable local food source, the community is determined to make full use of its therapeutic, social, educational and environmental value.

Eight smaller projects:



**Four projects with The Beechgrove Garden

• Ninewells Hospital (Dundee) has started building a medical garden for patients to use e.g. there are raised beds with wheelchair access. The garden has been designed to encourage patients to go outside in order to assist the healing process and aid rehabilitation.

• A new growing space has been be created for the public, and students at Moniack Mhor Writers Center (Kilterlaty) which has been designed to be an inspiring, relaxing space. Also a functional garden for the local community to use.

Knockando Woollen Mill in Spey Valley (near Aberlour), one of the oldest surviving district mills in the UK is re-opening to the public and expanding on an existing green space. It has been designed to benefit visitors and the public, but is also a functional garden (fruit and veg etc.) for local community and nearby schools visit the area for classes.

• A community gardening project at Glenfinart Walled Garden in Ardentinny (Dunoon) includes a sensory area and a polytunnel to grow fresh fruit and vegetables

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, the first of our gardens, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 209 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262  

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262