Weʼre raising £2,000 to Help Save Lancaster’s Fantastic Forest Garden
- Wyresdale Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 3LA
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Help Support ‘Fork to Fork’, an amazing trust providing inspiring, therapeutic horticultural training and experience for young adults with a range of special needs.
We’re ‘Fork to Fork’, a horticultural project run by (and for) volunteers at Lancaster's Forest Garden.
This is now a gorgeous 2 acre plot at Lancaster Leisure Park (on Wyresdale Road in Lancaster), which was donated to us by the owner and park manager, Allan Blackburn. Since 2013, we have worked to rescue and sympathetically transform what was an almost derelict site; working with the natural (hilly!) landscape, creating paths for public access, and planting flowers and organic vegetable plots within the trees.
It’s now hard to imagine our ‘garden within a wood’ (the only forest garden in the area) was once part of a bobsleigh track and golfing range! Now it’s layered with perennial and woodland plants, and packed full of food plants from the usual to the unusual. We have a wishing well and a deer-proof nursery area to grow on our plants. We’ve created a pond (which Lancaster fire-fighters came and filled up!), plus flower beds, a soft fruit area, a plum orchard, a nut area and so much more. By enhancing the area, we have also encouraged wildlife back, and now regularly see hedgehogs, deer, frogs, owls and more.
As well as the ecological, food and flowers, and wildlife benefits, Fork to Fork also offers an important free service for over 18s with a variety of learning support needs, giving them skills and purpose, as well as a place to interact with others. Dedicated volunteers are kept busy path-clearing, propagating and potting every week, gaining not just gardening skills, but valuable social and community integration at the same time.
However, loss of our major partnership funder means we’re asking for help to continue this fantastic work and beautiful site. Without funds to purchase tools, plants and materials, the garden is at a real risk of withering away.
Luckily Allan Blackburn and Lancaster Brewery director Matt Jackson, recognise the importance of the project and have stepped in with their own money and set up a trust to try and safeguard the continuation of this amazing resource.
It’s shocking to think projects like this, which give so much to vulnerable young adults in the community, receive no government funding at all. To help this fantastic project stay in bloom, all donations are welcome! Every penny you can donate will be put to great use, for example:
£10 donated will provide plants and bulbs / £15 will provide tools / £25 will fund plants, bulbs and tools
THANK YOU for any donations- you can see our target and progress on the right, and please spread the word to any friends or family you think might be interested in donating to such a great local cause.
Lancaster Forest Garden is at Lancaster Leisure Park, Wyresdale Road, LA1 3LA. It is fully accessible, and open to the public every single day, so please come and visit this wonderful haven.
Check out Fork to Fork’ on Facebook for amazing weekly Forest Garden updates and pictures, or to get in touch: https://en-gb.facebook.com/Fork2ForkProject/
For details of the Forest Garden at Lancaster Leisure Park, see http://www.gbantiquescentre.com/lancaster-leisure-park/
About the trust:
Fork to Fork is a horticultural project set up and run by a volunteer group of people with additional needs, including learning support, mental health issues. We work our 2 acre land at least two days every week from 10am until 4pm. We have an on-site project delivery worker who provides expert horticultural guidance and volunteer support.
We are a small team of 10-20 project members who cover all aspects of horticultural work .To date we have planted and now care for nearly 3000 plants.
Our site is open to the public and you can find it by visiting the Lancaster Leisure Park and we are found adjacent to Lancaster Brewery.
About the project:
Here is what one of our volunteers has to say about volunteering at the Fork to Fork project, and how his confidence has grown since he started supporting this fantastic ‘forest garden’ project on the edge of Lancaster:
“ Fork to Fork is a beautiful place to work. I have been going to Fork to Fork for nearly two years and I have loved every minute of being involved. Since being there, my confidence has certainly grown and also my fitness levels have improved. The project itself is for people who have a learning support needs, disabilities, or mental health problems; everyone really! It is a two acre site so there is always a lot to do on a weekly basis and we can get quite busy specialising on specific project areas. We grow all sorts of food growing plants in a forest garden setting and sell our seedlings and young plants. I am proud to be a member of Fork to Fork as it is an amazing project.”
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Allan Blackburn started crowdfunding
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May 17, 2018
Keep up the fantastic work guys!! Thank you for giving us such a beautiful place to walk the dog right on our door step :)
May 16, 2018
Keep up the good work
May 16, 2018
I love this place and always bring my dog here for a walk, so I'm happy to donate to help keep it open for all to enjoy
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About the fundraiser
Wyresdale Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 3LA
Allan Blackburn is the centre manager and owner of GB Antiques Centre at Lancaster Leisure Park, where the Forest Garden is situated.
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