July 2020 at Shipley Woodside Community Garden

July 2020 Community Garden

We are absolutely delighted with the progress made this month. Volunteers have continued to work safely, socially distancing and taking necessary precautions by not sharing tools and disinfecting. We have welcomed new visitors and volunteers and have loved meeting you all.

All the planted fruit trees, raspberries, grasses, herbs and perennials are doing really well. Even those donated by a local garden centre that would have otherwise been thrown out, have in the main come back to life. That could be down to the warm and wet July we have had or the loving way some of our volunteers talk to them – either way we are very happy!

Main access paths

The main wheelchair accessible path up to the sensory garden and centre circle is now finished. This was a huge effort by four of our volunteers. The path was all marked out, turf removed, the ground levelled, edged with wooden strips, weed membrane laid to suppress any weeds, MOT type 1 put down and then compacted with the whacker plate, which has been generously loaned to the garden by a member of the community.

July 2020 at Shipley Woodside Community Garden - SEAG - Shipley Eco-Action Group

The next phase of the path leading from the sensory garden up to the social area, where a barn structure will be situated has been marked out and turf lifted. At the rate our volunteers are working, no doubt they will have this finished in a couple of days!

July 2020 at Shipley Woodside Community Garden - SEAG - Shipley Eco-Action Group

Compost toilet

The shed has been painted, separator toilet installed, plumbed in and signage in place. Yes a separator does exactly what you are thinking – it separates the ones and two’s! The ones are separated into a soak away, which has been dug in the land and the twos into a bucket which after each use is covered by wood shavings and sawdust, which means it doesn’t smell. This waste composts down into humanure, which is a fantastic compost suitable for trees and bushes. You can read more here about how a compost toilet works.

Sensory Garden

The sensory garden is looking fantastic right now. More of the different path edging has been completed, a start made on removing turf in the sunflower and hot beds, mulching, weeding and more planting.

Upcycling in action! Galvanised pots and pans for planting and oven dish with a solar powered pump to create this lovely water feature.


Vegetables have been harvested from the raised beds for volunteers, with lots more still to come and the young trees have done well, with some fruit now appearing.

Bird and Bat Boxes

Many thanks to Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Woodside Farm in Shipley Park for donating bat and bird boxes for use at the garden. These have now been erected and we shall be eagerly watching these for signs of use.

Other news …

July 2020 at Shipley Woodside Community Garden - SEAG - Shipley Eco-Action Group

Jim Steele, Butterfly Conservation Officer for Derbyshire has been offering his expert advice and support so that we can attract more butterflies to the garden. With Jim’s input we have planned a butterfly bank in the wildflower meadow and started to build this with sods removed from the main path.

  • A specific area for children’s gardening has been started by one of our young volunteers as part of his Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

  • The tree of life and yin and yang sign are looking amazing in the meadow area thanks to the dedication of one volunteer to keep this area mowed and the grass around has grown longer.

  • The staging for the polytunnel, which is coming soon, has been refurbished and painted.

  • Discounted woodchip supplied from LSJ Services, which we use to mulch everywhere to suppress the weeds and help plants and trees retain moisture.

Finally, a big thank you for all the donations and discounted items we have received this month. We really couldn’t achieve so much if it wasn’t for the generosity and support of the local community and businesses.

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