The Big Dig is all about getting people involved in their local community garden.

We hold national events to promote edible gardens and encourage people to volunteer.

The Big Dig Cities

The 2016 Big Dig Cities are as follows:

 


Since the start of the Big Dig project in March 2012 the following towns and cities have taken part. Contact the organisations below to find out more and get involved. 

Bath - to find out more about community food growing in Bath contact Transition Bath

Birmingham - In Birmingham, the Big Dig has acted as a catalyst to bring together the enormous amount of food-growing activity that is going on in the city. Representatives of six food-growing initiatives are currently leading the group, working together to identify common goals and a common plan for food growing. See the Growing Birmingham website. theinnercitygarden@gmail.com.

Blackpool - Grow Blackpool is a community gardening project for local people. Their gardens have evolved to reflect the groups that utilise them. For instance Cherry Tree Allotment is focused on maximising fruit & vegetable production and is maintained by regular volunteers whereas the David Slack Allotment is a smaller plot where participants learn about green woodworking alongside gardening where space is at a premium. Recent activities and forthcoming events are publicised at www.facebook.com/growblackpool

Bournemouth and Poole - The Real Local Flavour project is a growing partnership of organisations that have just begun working together across both towns to help develop a thriving local food sector.  Supported by Bournemouth Borough and Poole Borough Councils and delivered by Rural Works we aim to develop the networks, support and inspiration needed to help individuals, organisations and businesses to work togetherand so encourage the sector to grow.We’re very proud to have our community gardens participating and our website will soon be available at www.reallocalflavour.co.uk sarah@ruralworks.co.uk.

Bradford - Bradford District's sustainable food network supports a range of partnership projects between the Council, community groups and expert third sector organisations like the Bradford Community Environment Project (BCEP). . http://www.bcep.org.uk/contact

Brighton and Hove - Harvest Brighton and Hove is a partnership project which co-ordinates a city wide, integrated approach to producing more food within the City. Their work includes advising on land issues, growing and cooking training and scrumping projects. jo@bhfood.org.uk.

Cambridge: Cambridge Carbon Footprint (CCF) is an award-winning environmental charity that works to raise awareness of climate change issues and promotes practical solutions to help people live more sustainably. CCF is co-ordinating the local Big Dig and we are really excited about the difference that Big Dig volunteer can make to our local orchards, allotments and community gardens. If you are interested in finding out more about Cambridge becoming a sustainable food city then visit http://www.cambridgefood.org/get-involved/join-us/ Contact Nicole Barton for further information on 01223 301842 or nicole@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org

Cardiff - The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG) supports, represents and promotes community-managed farms, gardens, allotments and other green spaces, creating opportunities for local communities to grow. FCFCG work with community groups to help empower local people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to build better communities, often in deprived areas, and to make a positive impact on their surrounding environment. Their work contributes to creating better communities across the UK in both urban and isolated rural areas. FCFCG also provide the national face of the community farm and garden movement, promoting its work and raising its profile with decision-makers, funders, the public and the media. Contact wales@farmgarden.org.uk for further details.

Chippenham & Swindon - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (WWT) is one of 47 Wildlife Trusts across the UK with one shared vision of creating a sustainable future for wildlife and people. As part of their work WWT are running an  innovative project called Food Champions to encourage and empower mainly disadvantaged communities to learn about and get involved in growing and accessing healthy local food. Contact GaryL@wiltshirewildlife.org

Congleton - Congleton Sustainability Group support a range of projects which are aimed at making the town more sustainable. This includes Congleton Eco-schools, a project which supports schools to develop educational projects to address environmental issues. This includes helping schools to grow food in their own grounds. Among other projects the group supports is Congleton Food4Free which aims to encourage, inspire and educate people to grow more of their own food either communally for sharing or on their own ground for themselves pattipinto1@yahoo.co.uk

Coventry -  Garden Organic work to support volunteering and social actions on new and existing community growing spaces in Coventry. This will include recruiting, training, and supporting a team of Master Gardeners who will in turn support volunteers with their growing activities on community growing spaces. jsutch@gardenorganic.org.uk.

Durham - to find out about community food growing in Durham contact Durham Community Action

Falkirk - Friends of the Earth Falkirk manage 4 gardens in Falkirk town centre as part of an orphan land project organised by Falkirk council. Their gardens include a community herb garden and an urban allotment norman.philip@btopenworld.com

Hastings & St Leonards - The Big Dig in Hastings & St Leonards involves three community gardens: Moveable Feast Community Garden, Bohemia Walled Garden Association and The Bridge. Moveable Feast transformed a derelict building site in St Leonards into a productive garden and vibrant community space. The harvest is shared by everyone involved. The space offers people the chance to grow food and acquire growing skills. The Bridge is an independently funded community centre and organic garden which uses its produce in the centre's cafe and in a veg bag scheme. It also runs workshops and a weekly gardening group. The Bohemia Walled Garden Association works to restore and maintain a Victorian walled garden and aims to encourage residents to become actively involved in growing food. The site includes plots for individual gardeners, two plots for primary and schools and communal areas mfcommunitygarden@gmail.com.  

Hull - to find out more abouth community food growing in Hull contact Food4Hull

Ipswich - ActivGardens brings people together in an active and healthy way, creating change to improve the vitality of communities and the people who live in them. Part of independent charity ActivLives, we have two garden sites in the town. ActivGardens runs a wide range of training courses and workshops on topics including food-growing, permaculture, and bee-keeping, and each year builds an innovative garden with Ipswich schools, as well as putting on lively events for the whole community. ActivGardens provides a regional showcase on the benefits of gardening and growing your own food, advising other projects on developing their own gardens. susannah@activlives.org.

Kirklees - In Kirklees we are passionate about improving our food sustainability offer and the diet and wellbeing of our local community. As a result we have recently developed a Food Charter which consists of four key principles; good for people, good for places, good for health and good for the planet. The community Big Dig events supports the principles in the charter and provides an opportunity for the community gardens to sign up and commit to making it happen. Across Kirklees we have a vast amount of food/community gardening activity from a few raised beds to large substantial sites and are always keen to hear from anyone who would like to get involved Vicki.walker@kirklees.gov.uk

Liverpool - The National Wildflower Centre (NWC) is a national environmental charity working to promote new wildflower landscapes and better places for people and wildlife. The Get Growing project, run by the NWC is all about growing food. This healthy living project aims to increase opportunities for food growing and healthy cooking, to widen participation in active gardening and to increase awareness of nature and the environment as a positive resource for health.We work with volunteers on the food growing displays around the centre as well as offer help, support and advice to schools and communities around Knowsley to set up community food growing areas getgrowing@landlife.org.uk .

London - Capital Growth is a campaign managed by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, in partnership with the Big Lottery's Local Food Fund and the Mayor of London. The aim during the first phase has been to support 2,012 community food-growing spaces in London, by the end of 2012. Support includes access to training and events, discounts on materials and compeititions. eloise@sustainweb.org.

Manchester - The Kindling Trust will be building on their work with the Land Army as well as schools, colleges and housing associations to support volunteering on a huge range of food growing projects. They will be running market gardening training and are aiming to set up an apprenticeship scheme to take first time volunteers all the way to professional growers. kirstin@kindling.org.uk.

Middlesbrough - Middlesbrough Environment City is an independent charity that promotes healthy and sustainable living in Middlesbrough. Each year MEC undertakes around 40 projects to engage the community. It runs training courses in growing your own vegetables, including running a community training allotment and a number of community growing sites. Other projects include safe cycling and cycle maintenance training, energy efficiency work, educational activities with schools and promoting outdoor play.  Briansimpson.mec@classmail.co.uk.

Newcastle - Food Nation is a social enterprise passionate about food, nutrition and health. Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, they provide innovative food and nutrition services to schools, businesses and communities across the North-East of England. Their key aims are to deliver innovative food and nutrition learning experiences for children and adults, and develop and support community activities which address health inequalities related to food, nutrition and diet. nicola@foodnation.org

Nottingham - Nottingham City Council are working to encourage and support food-growing through their Food Growing Framework. The framework is being delivered by the council's Parks and Open Spaces Services and aims to improve Nottingham's allotments, increase the amount of land being used for community growing, provide support for anyone wanting to grow their own food and introduce fruiting and edible plants into public open spaces. The city also has over 15 community gardens that are independently run of the council, most of which are volunteer led. Joanne.Tarrant@nottinghamcity.gov.uk.

Oxford - Community Action Groups is a network of local voluntary groups in Oxfordshire at the forefront of community led climate change action. CAGs organise events and initiatives to raise awareness and take action on climate change issues including waste reduction, promoting the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle), carbon reduction, sustainable transport, and food, energy and water issues to live a more sustainable and less resource dependent life in their local community. Alice.Hemming@resourcefutures.co.uk 

Portsmouth - Highbury College Local Food project, supported by European INTERREG funding, is working with students and the community to raise awareness about fresh, local and sustainable food. From growing it, to buying, cooking and eating it, the project hopes to support local producers and increase the quantity of local produce consumed by residents both at home and when eating out. megan.saunders@highbury.ac.uk.

Sheffield - Since 2008, Grow Sheffield has been actively promoting urban, organic agriculture in the Steel City. Over the past five years they've created urban food hubs, mapped they're local food network and harvested the glut of fruit that is forgotten about every year.  volunteering@growsheffield.com.

Southend  - Trust Links is an independent charity that runs two Growing Together community gardens in Southend-on-Sea. Trust Links aims to support people and build communities, particularly people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and other disabilities as well as children disengaged from education or at risk of exclusion. This is achieved through therapeutic gardening and positive activities through the Growing Together projects. We use organic principles, permaculture and conservation approaches. Working  in partnership with local organisations, we also provide environmental education and awareness through courses, open days and seasonal community events such as Apple Weekend, Seed Potato Day and May Fayre. email office@trustlinks.org

Swansea - The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG) supports, represents and promotes community-managed farms, gardens, allotments and other green spaces, creating opportunities for local communities to grow. FCFCG work with community groups to help empower local people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to build better communities, often in deprived areas, and to make a positive impact on their surrounding environment. Their work contributes to creating better communities across the UK in both urban and isolated rural areas. FCFCG also provide the national face of the community farm and garden movement, promoting its work and raising its profile with decision-makers, funders, the public and the media. Contact wales@farmgarden.org.uk for further details.

Totnes - Totnes and it's surrounding area is a hub of community food-growing initiatives, which are coming together for The Big Dig UK 2013 to showcase its diversity and to encourage food-growing locally, within and by the community.  Totnes Development Trust, Transition Town Totnes and Schumacher College are three organisations bringing their garden projects to the Big Dig for a series of events in 2013. It's an opportunity for everyone to explore their community gardens more! http://gardening4health.wix.com/totnes2013bigdig Contact: Catherine@gardeningforhealth.org.uk  for details.

Walsall - Walsall has an ever expanding number of community growing spaces around the borough, including spaces in urban settings; within allotment sites, and at health and social care settings.  Representatives from around the borough are leading the Big Dig Project, with the aim of encouraging more community spaces to take part, and new volunteers to get involved.  Projects planned for 2013, include creation of a new ‘Butterfly Border;’ encouraging communities to grow some exotic fruit and vegetables, and planting a new Orchard in an urban community garden.  Further information available from Alison Bate, Community Gardens Officer: 01922 655471 Batea@walsall.gov.uk.

York - to find out more about community food growing in York contact Edible York

 

The Big Dig

The Big Dig is a nationwide project which aims to get more people involved in community food-growing. The Big Dig is a project of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.

The Big Dig
C/o Sustain
Development House
56 - 64 Leonard Street
London
EC2A 4LT