Tucked away down a residential side-street in Portsmouth nestles a peaceful urban oasis. This tranquil pocket of calm in the urban jungle quietly flourishes in the grounds of the Stacey Community Centre in Baffins.
The community-led orchard and garden has been running since July 2009, and has blossomed into a beautiful green space. It began life as, in the words of Tracey the community orchard coordinator, an 'overgrown concrete wasteland' and over time has been transformed by the dedicated volunteers into the wildlife haven we can see today.
Inside the gates of the garden you will find a community orchard full of heritage fruit trees and fruit bushes, raised beds for growing vegetables, secluded seating areas for peaceful contemplation, and a shiny new polytunnel erected this year. The local Men's Shed team (also found at the Stacey Centre) have furnished the polytunnel with beautiful hand-crafted wooden potting benches and planters. Edible crops that love the warmer climate are already sprouting inside.
Sounds like something you would like to get involved with? Then join the Stacey Centre Community Orchard and Garden project today! To find out more call the Centre on 023 9261 7890, or email Tracey - the orchard's volunteer coordinator.
Garden volunteering runs every Wednesday between 10am - 1pm. It's free to join in. There is parking on site, it is flat and easily accessible for all. Garden activities include: watering, weeding, pruning, garden sprucing, and planting. All welcome.
So if you fancy having a go at gardening for the first time, or have green fingers and would like to share your skills with others, why not pop on down and say 'hello'?!