The Big Dig

The Slades Farm Community Garden is taking part in the Big Dig on Saturday, weather permitting. The forecast is currently for light occasional showers on Saturday morning, which is fine for gardening. However, should it turn into a continuous downpour then we’ll postpone until our next work session on Sunday 24th March from 10:00 – 12:00.


On Saturday 16th March community food growing gardens across Bournemouth and Poole are opening their gates to fledgling green-fingered enthusiasts and experienced gardeners alike.  They need your help to prepare the gardens for spring planting and while you’re there hope they will convert you into becoming long term volunteers.

Local Coordinator, Sarah Watson believes the Big Dig Day offers a great introduction to gardening for novices “If you have never grown before but always fancied giving it a go, if you don’t have anywhere of your own to grow or you just want a great day out meeting new people from your neighbourhood then the Big Dig is for you!  It’s a brilliant way of getting involved with a community food growing project where you live. All our community growing spaces need as much help as possible so don’t be shy, everyone, whatever your age, experience or ability is needed and will be made very welcome.  With five different gardens to choose from and more signing up every day there is bound to be one close to you where you can get involved and help out. So go along, get digging and help make Bournemouth and Poole’s first Big Dig a thriving community food growing day”

Some of the projects are new and others well established but all are looking for your help to make their gardens thrive.  From an established Organic patch and a new shared allotment for single parents, both at Stanley Green, to Townsend Youth Centre and an inclusive garden at Throop to a great growing space at Wallisdown.  Have a look at the website to find a garden near you and all the information you need on how to get involved.  Young or old, experienced green fingers or never grown before, everyone is welcome!

This initiative is part of the national Big Dig campaign and will be the largest ever Big Dig community garden growing day, engaging thousands of people in volunteer-run food-growing projects in towns and cities throughout the country. Interest in where our food comes from and how it is produced has long been on the news agenda, and more so in recent weeks. Clare Horrell from the Big Dig said: “The horsemeat scandal has highlighted many problems in our food chain. One of the best ways to know where you food comes from is to grow it yourself. With huge allotment waiting lists, for those who don’t have a garden, getting involved in your local community growing space is a great way to get ‘own-grown’ produce.”

Thanks to the support of Bournemouth and Poole Councils the Big Dig is on-going so if you would like to volunteer later in the year, want to find out about community food growing in your area or would like to start your own community garden we will do our best to help.  Please contact Sarah on 07789 656566 or

Ground Designs

Lots of people came along to the Slades Farm Community Garden Design Workshop on Saturday, and lots more who couldn’t be there constributed their ideas. There were some ideas which formed a common thread, like ponds, meadows and the forest garden/orchard. Everyone thought there ought to be at least one water feature, with one student from St. Mark’s Primary School suggesting that we include a swimming pool !  The organisers are collating the creative outputs from the session and will continue the collaborative process via email.


Many thanks to the North Bournemouth Allotment Society for generously providing us a venue, and such gorgeous home baking, and many thanks to everyone who came along and who provided input into the design. It has made this a proper community project!

While the final design plan for this phase is being produced, we know we have a few tasks in hand that we need to get on with. There are a few finishing touches needed to our fenced veg plot – like a gate, and making the vegetable beds ready for the spring. Any turf we take off we can use to bolster our perimeter bank. We also have quite a number of fruit trees and soft fruit bushes to plant as soon as the weather allows.

Our next work party is Sunday 27th January from 10:00 – 12:00, weather permitting. Let’s hope the snow has gone by then !



And the answer is blowin’ in the wind ….


Fab day on Swanage seafront, with lots of people from all sorts of ‘green’ groups in Dorset supporting offshore renewable energy. Many thanks to everyone who came along and made it such a special day. 🙂

The media turned out for the event but so far have relegated our presence to a footnote – but this will change ! This is the start of a big campaign to make our voice heard ! For more info, come along to the Transition Bournemouth meeting on Wednesday 16th January, 7:30 at the Roundhouse Hotel, Lansdowne.

Transition BH Wild Food Walk

Will Newitt is organising round 2 of wild food walks back in Studland on April 7th!

We had a great time last autumn so Will thought it would be interesting to revisit in spring and see what natural delights are on offer – especially in the garlic woods !

While this event is a good opportunity to attract new people to TT, Will is kindly advertising it exclusively to us for a couple of weeks, as it is a great opportunity for existing members to be able to get together and connect.

For more info and booking please go to:

To find out more about Will and what he does please go to: (there’s various other non TT events if you can’t make this one)

Turn Out for Turners Field


Whilst I have been looking forward to finishing our withy fence around the vegetable patch, I think that we should cancel our work day this coming Saturday to give our volunteers the opportunity to go and help out planting a new hedge at Turners Field, which I know is always a really popular activity.

Turners Field is a community garden/green space project run with Transition Poole. The new wildlife hedge will be made up of a carefully selected mixture of trees and shrubs to provide food and shelter for birds, bees, butterflies and more. It will also create a beautiful eastern border for the community orchard to be started in the spring.
Weather permitting, the planting from 10am on Saturday 17th November. (If it’s raining heavily, it will be defered to the 24th. Call Jamie on  07759 723 939 if weather is uncertain.)

Meet at the northeast corner of Turner’s Nursery (the fenced-in area of Turner’s Field). Please wear waterproof clothes that can get dirty. We’ll provide as many tools as we can, but if you have them, please bring along gardening gloves, spades and trowels.

See for more details of the project, including directions to the site.

Family Information Day at Sovereign Centre, Boscombe on Thurs 1st Nov 2012

On Thursday 1st November Transition Bournemouth attended a Family Information Day at the Sovereign Centre, Boscombe. The aim of our stall was to raise awareness of sustainable living, seasonal/locally grown food and to let people know what we are about and what we’ve been up to.

We decided to lure the public to our stand by offering free cake samples. Kim made some Fairtrade chocolate refrigerator cake and Martha and Ruth bought along some delicious parsnip, lemon and walnut cake. The parsnip cake was so popular that Martha had to run off and bake another three before the afternoon rush!

Although we had produced some recipe cards they were snapped up very quickly and we received lots of requests for how to find them. The recipes can be found online via the links below:-

Parsnip and Walnut Cake –

Chocolate Refrigerator Cake –

We also asked people to share their “seeds of knowledge” and got them to write their eco-friendly and thrifty tips on paper apples. We had a great response and some of the best ideas included:-

“Buy seasonal, locally grown food to reduce food miles and carbon emissions.”

“Put tin foil shiny side out behind radiators to reflect heat and reduce energy bills”

“If you don’t NEED it don’t BUY it!”

We spoke to 50-60 people throughout the day and had some fascinating conversations about seasonal food, reducing waste, baking with vegetables and much more.

The event was so successful that we will be back in the Sovereign Centre with a festively themed stall and more free cake on Thursday 20th December. Come and say hello!

By Kim Newman

BH Green Drinks Festive Feast 2012

BH Green Drinks would like to invite you to our annual festive feast! Anyone with an interest in green issues is welcome to join us, even if you’ve never come along before. Please feel free to invite friend/family. The more the merrier!

I have provisionally booked a table at Zoukinis Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant ( for Thursday 13th December at 7:30pm.

The restaurant usually closes around 9:30pm, so we will then head over the road to The Hogshead (1 Alumhurst Road, BH4 8EL) for a few after dinner drinks.

It is £16.95 for two courses or £21.95 for three. An electronic version of this years menu is available on request.


I am asking for a £5 deposit to be paid to me by Friday 16th November. I will then ask people to send me their menu choices by Saturday 1st December.  You can do this in person at Green Drinks or Transition Bournemouth or e-mail me for bank details at

All the best
Kim Newman

What a Wonderful Walk

What a fantastic walk we had yesterday in Studland ! Many thanks to Will ! Not only did he provide lots of fascinating information about plants that provide a yield we can use, but also had samples of fruit syrups and fruit leathers for us to try ! Whoopee !

We were very lucky with the weather and it was a gloriously sunny autumnal day. Amongst the many plants discussed were elder, hawthorn, dogrose, st. John’s wort, blackthorn, nettle, ground elder, and a variety of seaweeds. After the walk we relaxed in the sunny beer garden of the Bankes Arms, which sells a great range of Purbeck Brewery products, with bunnies frolicking in nearby fields and the gorgeous panorama of Poole Bay in the background.

As the day what a complete success, we hope to arrange a number of similar events for next year. If you want to get something organised yourself, contact Will via

Here’s a photo of the group as we started out – I am afraid I got too engrossed to remember to take any more but I hope others will post additional photos.

Wild Food Walk on Studland
Wild Food Walk on Studland