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Big Dig in community green space

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Volunteers at The Big Dig in Knockbracken

The Conservation Volunteers hosted a number of events at the end of March as part of The Big Dig campaign. Three events were held in community green spaces in North and South Belfast and Castlereagh, and a group of volunteers from Augher, County Tyrone, came together to set up a new community garden in the grounds of St McArtans GAA Club.

Budding gardeners of all ages and experience were encouraged to get involved by visiting their local community garden or allotment site, with the aim to raise awareness of community gardens and encourage more people to get involved in food growing, as an alternative way to get healthy and meet your neighbours.

In Belfast, The Conservation Volunteers hosted events on three sites – Grove Community Garden, North Belfast and Musgrave Community Garden in the South along with Knockbracken Community Allotments on the Saintfield Road. New volunteers were welcomed and introduced to existing helpers to help increase community participation in the food growing projects.

At St McArtans GAA Club, people were involved in a number of activities from sawing and drilling to make raised beds to shovelling and raking 8 tonnes of soil into 6 new raised beds on the site. Luckily we had the help of a small, vintage tractor to do the hard work of shifting soil from one side of the car park to the new garden site by the football stands. And it only broke down once!

Now all we have to do is the sowing, planting, weeding, watering, and look forward to the harvesting of all the produce.

The Big Dig Day is run by The Big Dig at Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. Gardens in over 40 different towns and cities across the length and breadth of the UK took part in the Big Dig Day on 21st March 2015. From Falkirk in the north to Truro in the south and from Belfast in the west to Norwich in the east 190 community gardens opened their gates and asked the public to come down, see what's growing and get involved.

Funded through the Public Health Agency