Coronation gardens scheme aims to inspire millions to grow fruit and vegetables

Coronation gardens scheme aims to inspire millions to grow fruit and vegetables
Volunteers in the Evelyn community gardens in Deptford, London (Paul Harris/2020VISION/PA)
PA Media - Paul Harris/2020VISION

People across the UK will be encouraged to grow fruit and vegetables in wildlife-friendly gardens in celebration of the King’s vision for treasuring nature and living sustainably.

The three-year programme aims to inspire millions of people to live sustainably and help wildlife recover by growing food and creating space for nature in gardens, on balconies and in shared greenspaces.

The scheme, called Coronation Gardens For Food And Nature, has been organised by The Wildlife Trusts in partnership with Incredible Edible, Garden Organic and The NFWI (National Federation of Women’s Institutes).

Volunteers harvesting raspberriesVolunteers harvesting raspberries at Old Sleningford farm, near Ripon, North Yorkshire (Paul Harris/2020VISION/PA)PA Media - Paul Harris/2020VISION

The initiative will be kickstarted by a grant of £247,834 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Charles, who was crowned on May 6, is known to be a passionate gardener who is committed to organic farming, promoting biodiversity and has long campaigned in the fight against climate change.

Those taking part in the project will be encouraged to grow healthy food to eat, which could range from herbs and salads through to vegetables and fruit trees depending on the space available.

Volunteers planting wildlife-friendly plants at Langriggs in CumbernauldVolunteers planting wildlife-friendly plants at Langriggs in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire (Katrina Martin/2020VISION/PA)PA Media - Katrina Martin/2020VISION

They will be urged to plant pollinator-friendly blooms and even create a water feature, which could be as simple as a submerged dish.

People will also be asked to leave a patch of long grass or make a pile of logs to create shelter for wildlife and natural predators such as hedgehogs and frogs, as well as being urged to go chemical and peat-free.

Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “During the past 50 years the King has frequently called for humanity to live in harmony with nature and has promoted sustainable food growing alongside planting for pollinators and pesticide-free gardening.

“Restoring nature and enhancing the health and wellbeing of communities has never been more important. We hope that people everywhere will enjoy helping wildlife whilst growing spuds and squash – and we’d like to invite groups across the UK to join our wonderful gardening coalition.”

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