We know that gardening and growing (similar to walking and cycling) is a really good way of keeping physically active, reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and many other conditions as well as maintaining a healthy weight.  It can also help to improve our mood by reducing anxiety, depression and helping us sleep better. Gardening and growing can also help the environment, the more we take care of our natural surroundings and grow food/plants that we can eat or that can support biodiversity, for example growing flowers for bees the more sustainable we become.  Positively impacting our health, wildlife and the environment.

You can search for community garden or food growing projects local to you in North Ayrshire on our Events Calendar.

You can also see North Ayrshire Council's Food Growing Strategy here.

If you are interested in participating in a gardening or growing activity but don’t want to take on the responsibility or cost of your own allotment, a community garden is often a great way to get involved.  Coming together with others allows you to connect with nature, share ideas, socialise, learn and often enjoy a cup of tea.

By taking part in these projects you can:

    • Develop new skills
    • Enjoy a weekly routine with goal orientated activities
    • Meet and socialise with others
    • Improve your general health and wellbeing
    • Gain self-confidence and self esteem
    • Learn about plants, natural history and conservation
    • Improve your local community
    • Produce nutritious food
    • Help preserve green spaces

 

Eglinton Community Gardens

 Provides all members of the community with learning opportunities related to gardening, growing food and cooking and will provide the community and volunteers with the opportunity to learn new skills, tools and coping mechanisms and promote positive changes in health, diet and lifestyle and fitness.

There are numerous benefits to be gained from this programme such as:

    • Improving the quality of life for those involved in the garden
    • Providing a catalyst for neighbourhood and community development
    • Stimulating social interaction and reduces isolation
    • Beautifying the neighbourhood
    • To produce nutritious food
    • Reduces family food budgets
    • Creating opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy and education
    • Preserving green spaces and utilises urban gap sites
    • Producing opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections

If you want to know more about the various opportunities available at Eglinton Community Garden then contact Linda Tedford on lindatedford@north-ayrshire.gov.uk or 07966 527094

 

Barrmill Conservation Group

A rural community group dedicated to providing activities for the social, physical and mental well being of  local residents and visitors to the Village. Barrmill Conservation Group have a wonderful outdoor resource; a place where people of all ages and abilities and can gather together to meet, relax, or take part in the many opportunities on offer; where they can socialise with friends, neighbours and visitors in a community setting, whatever their interests.

Offering a variety of outdoor activities across the week for people to get involved in. Including:

    • Nature Arts and Crafts
    • Monthly Muck-In
    • Wednesday Volunteer Group
    • Gardening Tips and Tricks

If you want to find out more about these activities and more contact Carrick on carrickcc@hotmail.com

 

Dalry Community Development Hub

The Dalry Community Development Hub is dedicated to serve the wider community and develop services for local young people. United to create positive change the group is made up of community minded residents, local business people, representatives of other community groups, parents and older people.

The Dalry Community Development Hub is focused on making sure everyone can enjoy the Community Garden. Numerous events are planned throughout the year but if you simply want to pop to enjoy a cup of tea, learn a new skill or to volunteer you are always welcome.

If you want to know more about the Dalry Community Garden then please contact Sheena Woodside on sheena_woo@yahoo.co.uk 

Growing at home can be very rewarding and depending on what space you have you may want to start with some simple seeds to grow sunflowers or herbs in a pot on the windowsill.  If you have some space outdoors in pots or a garden you could plant some potatoes, peas or root vegetables.

There are many websites with tips and advice, the Soil Association has a range of resources to help get you started or the Royal Horticultural Society Get Set Grow videos.

Community Allotments in North Ayrshire are spaces whereby you can learn how to grow fruit and vegetables. They encourage people to take part in social activities as well as being a space that helps to promote healthier lifestyle and improve mental wellbeing. Community allotments are more than just having your own space to grow and are much more about community spirit and cohesion. Most are run by community associations or groups. 

There are 4 Community Allotments in North Ayrshire, these are:

  • Organic Growers of Fairlie - Community garden in Fairlie with approx. 180 raised beds and 3 large polytunnels. At Allanton Park Terrace, Fairlie
  • Garnock Valley Allotment Association - The allotments have 45 plots, 3 large polytunnels and several raised beds, covering more than 2 acres. Situated at Sersley Drive, Kilbirnie
  • Eglinton Growers - Community Allotments and Garden Association, Kilwinning Road, Irvine.  Approximately 90 plots of varying sizes.
  • Three Towns Growers - Allotment and community garden site situated in Elm Park Ardrossan.  Approximately 50 plots, 32 outdoor raised beds and 18 raised beds in the community polytunnel

 

Further advice on allotments can be found at Scottish Allotments