Project information

Ryton Organic Gardens

Ryton Gardens is a unique organic learning centre with 12 acres of organic gardens, helping people learn to grow organically and live more sustainably. The project will improve areas of our gardens and enhance learning opportunities for 30,000 visitors each year.

This an ongoing project

Charity information: Garden Organic

Garden Organic logo
  • Need

    Need

    Organic growing has an essential role to play in environmental sustainability, community cohesion, human wellbeing and food security. With an estimated 25% of adults obese, and barely 35% consuming the recommended five portions of fresh fruit and veg a day, improved education in healthy food growing and eating has never been more important. Organic gardening can have a huge impact and there is real interest in organic home growing, but many people lack the skills and knowledge to succeed.

    Solution

    Ryton Gardens provides a perfect example of organic growing on a domestic scale, with accessible information, engaging displays, guided tours and educational activities. We welcome over 28,000 visitors each year, hundreds of school groups, we host volunteers and work placements, including the 14-19 age range and ex-offenders. We aim to improve the learning aspects of Ryton through garden development, education and new courses, enabling greater numbers of people to benefit from organic growing.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To improve organic learning opportunities at Ryton Gardens for up to 35,000 people

    Activities

    » Enhance our gardens to better demonstrate fruit and veg growing, wildlife gardening, organic pest and disease management and soil fertility
    » Showcase knowledge and heritage of local exotic crop growers through developing our new exotic crops garden, linked with our Sowing New Seeds project
    » Improve on-site signage and interpretation to maximise learning opportunities
    » Improve the learning journey to include soil types, progressing through garden planning, planting, wildlife-friendly gardening, harvesting and compost

    Gardens redeveloped to better showcase organic techniques and systems, and community growing expertise. Signage and interpretation improved and a new learning journey created.


    Aim 2

    Enable young people to learn about organic growing and be inspired to grow at school and at home

    Activities

    » Review and develop our schools offering and raise awareness about Ryton Gardens and organic growing through our network of school partners
    » Offer placements to at least 12 young people each year - giving experience of organic horticulture that could lead to a career in the sector

    10% increase in educational visits to Ryton Gardens, tied in with learning and with school garden projects


    Aim 3

    Enable people to develop and maintain successful organic growing through knowledge sharing

    Activities

    » Offer organic apprenticeships so at least 3 young people each year can gain the skills and experience needed for a career in organic horticulture
    » Increase our range of work placements at Ryton Gardens for ex-offenders and the long term unemployed
    » increase the range of both leisure and accredited training courses available at Ryton Gardens
    » Increase uptake of organic skills courses at Ryton Gardens from across our community

    Three organic apprentices trained each year. Work placements for ex-offenders and long term unemployed. Increased leisure and accredited organic courses with increased enrolment


  • Impact

    Impact

    Locally, more engagement with and training in organic horticulture at all levels, and greater school engagement with growing; nationally, increased and successful engagement with organic gardening and food growing, leading to improved health and wellbeing, a healthier environment and greater engagement with sustainable lifestyles. Ultimately, Garden Organic aims for strategic and political change, to recognise the importance of organic food growing at home and in schools and communities

    Risk

    Government cutbacks may impact support for school growing projects, however we have close links and long relationships with many schools and will still provide support for growing projects where we can.
    The current climate may also reduce the availability of funding to help develop courses. However, we have expertise within our organisation and will still be able to offer training options at a range of levels.

    Reporting

    Donors to this project will receive update reports after six months and 12 months outlining progress and detailing activities undertaken, lessons learnt and any necessary changes made to the project plans.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £31,500

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      Amount Heading Description
      £2,500 Improved intepretation Design, research and writing of inspirational interpretation, signage and literature
      £5,000 Outdoor classroom Covered area with seating to enable all weather learning
      £9,000 Gardener Supporting one of our small but dedicated and experienced gardens team for six months
      £15,000 Training courses Implementation and delivery of formally accredited practical organic growing courses over 3 years
  • Background

    Location

    Ryton Gardens is based near Coventry. The garden was established on this site 25 years ago, and has since been developed into a leading organic display garden. The Gardens act as both a national visitor attraction and a local community hub. Our region is a mix of both rural communities and also the urban centres of Coventry, Rugby and Warwick. The region experiences high levels of obesity; there are areas of social deprivation and comparatively high urban and rural unemployment.

    Beneficiaries

    Local beneficiaries include young people, long-term unemployed and ex-offenders participating in structured work placements. Improved training opportunities in organic growing for professional, domestic and school projects targets a wide range of beneficiaries. Nationally, the 28,000 visitors to Ryton Gardens will benefit from improved learning opportunities. Overall, an increased uptake of organic gardening will have a nationwide benefit.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Garden Organic has over 50 years experience of organic horticulture research and practice, including developing innovative organic community growing projects 20 years experience of running innovative education projects with schools as well as practical courses for adults, and we have been developing the Ryton Organic Gardens site for 25 years.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Colette Bond

    Head of Education Colette leads and develops our school projects and links these with the educational offering of Ryton Organic Gardens.