How Peterborough's Westraven Community Café and Garden is tackling the climate crisis
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Westraven Community Café and Garden’s mission to galvanise a community-led response to the climate emergency is gathering pace.
As well as showing how community food growing can help foster a stronger sense of community, the independent charity located in Westwood and Ravensthorpe is highlighting how initiatives of this kind can benefit the environment - and not just because there are fewer food miles from plot to plate.
This significant cash injection has enabled the charity’s garden team - which consists mainly of volunteers - to deliver more than 70 inspiring and educational eco activities throughout the year.
Sessions have included everything from Get Growing Workshops and a Repair Café to seed saving sessions and a Family Gardening Club.
Organisers believe more than 1,000 participants have already taken part, with attendees ranging in age from preschool children to teenagers to retirees. Schools, SEN centres and Community Payback schemes have also been welcomed.
Luke Payn, community garden projects manager said: “The sessions have brought our community together, and inspired us to work collectively towards tackling the challenges of the rapid ecological decline and climate crisis.”
In addition to helping increase people’s knowledge of sustainable techniques like food growing and upcycling, the garden’s habitats and biodiversity have also been complemented.
Wildflowers and edible plants now call the garden home, alongside upcycled bee hotels made from repurposed materials.
Volunteers say this is helping to sustain a wealth of wildlife and a thriving ecosystem.
Luke noted how the additional funding had “enabled us to deliver a diverse programme of activities and improvements to the garden, while making important connections with ecology, climate and food production.”
Lead volunteer Risé Symonds described what the garden means to her: “To me, the garden is a place where I can relax and release all stress and anxiety, whilst also feeling fully involved as part of the team.She added: “Running the workshops has been a joy as people are genuinely interested in, and enthusiastic about the advice, the experience, and putting into practice what they have gained - especially if you pass on money saving tips.”