Powis Gardeners are based in one of Aberdeen’s most disadvantaged areas. So when an allotment became available in the area a small group of local people jumped at the chance. There are now 16 people of all ages who are interested in gardening. Powis Gardeners have created raised beds and compost bays and hope to have an eco-greenhouse and wormeries. The gardeners are becoming adept at finding wood, bulbs (hundreds have been naturalized outside the allotment wall), compost, etc. During the summer monthly barbecues are arranged, accompanied by music and song. Links with other gardening groups have been formed, including the university wildlife garden.
The council has closed the St Machar Outdoor Centre, and has given the community six months to devise proposals for its maintenance and use. The plan is to restore the area to its original status as Sunnybank Park with play and sports areas, a formal garden with fruit trees and new allotments.
Sometimes there is a right time for something to happen, and this is certainly true of the Powis gardeners. Also crucial has been the enthusiasm, determination and drive of the local people, as well as the commitment and support of a community worker. The community is already seeing the benefits with many more Powis residents showing an active interest in the allotment. Aberdeen City Council supports this initiative.
- In spring and summer the area is significantly more attractive
- The sense of community is evident and growing.
- People of every age stop and talk.
- Plants and vegetables are exchanged.
- The allotment has brought people together not only across generations, but also across cultures.