Online donation page to support the garden and other local projects on QECF website (you can let us know by e-mail if you'd like it to be used for a specific project). We are very keen to fundraise for the new structures around the club hut.
We are trying to use second-hand and donated materials as much as possible. The City Council have been able to provide some funds and materials but we also need, and want, to do our own fundraising and sourcing.
If we are offered things we can't use in the garden, we can often find good homes for them in other community projects - for example at Rock Road Library or in a school project nearby.
Here we will list things we'd really like and you might have 'spare':
- Bat detector - an easy-to-use one would be useful for ecology events in early evenings. We could share it with other groups through a Cambridge-wide Tool Library we are trying to build.
- Chalks: children have really enjoyed writing and drawing on our tarmac paths. We have a box of them in the club hut and any spare chalks would be very appreciated. It is fun to see the path decorated and it washes off with rainwater.
- Exterior paint: suitable for metal or wood. We can let you know what colours and quantities. Black 'exterior blackboard paint' for signs (we really like Bedec multi-surface paint but Wilko seem to do one suitable for outdoor use.
- Exterior plywood - we are always short of this and can store off-cuts until we need them. We can use it for signs, repairs to the club hut and also habitats.
- Gardening gloves - it is really useful to have a generous set in different sizes for people who don't bring their own along.
- Plants: some won't do well in the garden soil and some we aren't ready for. Contact us before you buy or bring them along. List of potentially harmful plants.
- Refreshments for garden groups - we offer 'Gardeners tea at 3' for people volunteering but also visiting the garden on Sundays and Mondays. It doesn't cost a lot each week (a bit of milk, tea, coffee, biscuits but we also like to have some fresh fruit for those trying to resist the 'bad stuff'). And we especially like to enjoy home-made ones (or grown fruit). Some people bring things along and some drop some coins in our 'kitty tin'.
- Scaffolding planks: for simple low raised beds. Corner pieces too. We can store these before use and cut them on site.
In the future:
- Green roof materials: but we need a plan first.
- Wood and materials for new structures: but we need a plan first.
Skills and time
This is a list of some of the skills and time we will need to get this project to work in the long-term. In the meantime, a few of us are rushing around between other commitments, trying our best. If you don't have these skills or time, we would still love you to join our team - having people 'around' to chat to park users and enjoy the space is also really useful - and delightful:
- Accessibility and inclusivity - it would be really useful to have someone take responsibility for ensuring that what we do, within our resources, is accessible and inclusive. And help us apply for funding to make what we can't afford yet. We have been given £100 by the South Area Committee to spend on tools that enable more people to take part in gardening. We have spent a little of this on kneeling pads for dodgy knees and ankles and a good wheelbarrow because they are better for the back than using tubs.
- Archiving: we would love someone to take responsibility for sorting and archiving the bowls club items left in the shed, and soon, in the old pavilion. This could include working with others to do some oral and local history and sharing it, including online. Queen Edith's Community Forum have a new local history project and are working with staff from the Museum of Cambridge - and especially their Capturing Cambridge online resource.
- Ecology: we would love someone/people to take long-term responsibility for organising wildlife activities, help with habitat design and planting. And finding people to do it.
- Fundraising: we would love someone to take responsibility for fundraising. This could involve applying for grants, approaching local businesses, organising fundraising events. This needs to be done in a co-ordinated way and needs promotional materials developing, which could include managing this website and social media. We have a really nice video now (see resources page).
- Garden co-ordinator: we need at least one other person, to share responsibility for co-ordinating all the gardening that goes on in the garden, making sure it is safe and effective. So one person doesn't hoe out all the seedlings planted by another. In the meantime, two volunteers from the Queen Edith's Community Forum are muddling along, acting as garden co-ordinators, and asking everyone they know for advice - under supervision from Streets and Open Spaces.
- Garden design - our design has 'evolved', based on the limited resources we have had, watching how people use the garden and seeing what grows well. It would be really good to recruit someone with (far superior) knowledge of plants and design to re-think what we do and learn from our successes and failures. We do need people who will stay involved with the project though and won't expect a (large) budget to work with.
- Gate rota: we have a wonderful set of people opening and closing the gates everyday. We now have some spare keys, in case someone would like to take responsibility for a day or evening a week (the rest of the group provides cover when people are away).
- Landscape architecture: we are realising we could learn a lot from landscape architects - like how to use modern water features like rain gardens and green roofs. The garden is a place for experimentation and demonstration - so it could be fun.
- Sustainable gardening: we would love someone to take responsibility for advice and sourcing materials for sustainable gardening - including using organic and 'permaculture principles'. Working from the soil (which is very odd in places) upwards. It will require some experimentation, which is often exciting.
- Tool library project manager: we would love someone to take responsibility for gathering the needs and wants of people for tools, sorting through what we have, repairing and sharpening, sourcing new ones, including working with fundraisers to buy them. The 'tools' don't all need to be stored in the garden but some will need to be. Unfortunately, our grant application in Spring 2016 for tools for a Cambridge-wide library wasn't successful but we won't give up and are slowly gathering some useful tools, including from recent RHS, Cambridge City Council and Cambridge Rag Ballot grants..
Do contact us if you can help with any of these.
Things we might not want
We have had a request from some garden neighbours for 'no wind chimes'. I think many people find these infuriating, so maybe we will enjoy the sound of birds and rustling leaves instead.
See the new Cambridge Wild page for links.
Last updated: 15 November 2017