Ardagh gardens win regional award

BRISTOL’S Acting Lord Mayor Steve Pearce attended an event at the Ardagh on Horfield Common to celebrate achievements in this year’s Royal Horticultural Society’s It’s your Neighbourhood (IYN) scheme.
IYN is for volunteer-led projects or groups who are focused on improving their local environment through community gardening.

Among the winners was the Ardagh Community Trust, which was awarded the 2023 Gordon Ford Trophy after being judged by South West in Bloom be the best IYN entry in the region.

ACT took over responsibility for management and maintenance of the Ardagh site – including the public gardens – from Bristol City Council in 2019.

It hosted the awards ceremony, which was attended by Bristol participants in the IYN scheme, among them Friends of Troopers Hill, Snuff Mills Action Group, Redcatch Community Garden, Ambition Lawrence Weston, Friends of Parson Street Railway Station, Stockwood Growing Together, Bedminster Station Garden,, Filwood Residents Association, Kings Weston Action Group, Victoria Park Community Garden and Manor Woods Valley Group.

The guests, including Cllr Pearce, Steven Clampin from BCC’s Parks Department, Judy Gowenlock from Your Park B&B and Frances Robertson from Bristol Parks Forum, were served lunch prepared by the community Café on the Common, which featured food grown by volunteers at the Ardagh. Visitors were also taken on a tour of the gardens.

Sam Thomson, chief executive of ACT, said: “It was a wonderful celebration and a brilliant opportunity for volunteers across the city to get together to share ideas, experiences and knowledge.

“As a result of ongoing funding cuts for parks and community spaces in the UK, the role of volunteers in enhancing community spaces, high streets, parks and other shared spaces is increasingly important, and visible.
“Congratulations – and thank you – to all those across Bristol who are volunteering their time & energy to help make our community spaces greener, brighter and welcoming for people and for wildlife!
“Any community gardeners in Bristol who would like to know more, or to come along next year should get in touch with the RHS South West in Bloom team for more information.
“We are already looking forward to hosting next year!”