Incredible Edible Prestwich & District was launched in May 2010. How did it come about?
In spring 2010, two people, George and Joan, were chatting and discovered that they were both hugely inspired by Incredible Edible Todmorden. They wondered if something similar could be set up in Prestwich and decided to give it a go. First step was to organise a public meeting in a local community hall to gauge interest. Over 30 people turned up and 12 were immediately willing to be involved from the start. They headed across the road to the pub and started making plans. It was a little like pushing an open door, and this has been the case up and down the country and beyond. If you are reading this and don’t have a local group why not start your own Incredible Edible group?
The Incredible Edible Todmorden website is extremely helpful and provides excellent guidance. We needed a name, a simple constitution with at least 3 elected officers: chair, secretary and treasurer, a bank account and public liability insurance. Initially the ‘core’ members met regularly and made small personal donations to the funds and held pub quizzes and raffles to get things started, but very soon we were able to apply for small grants. We also used suitable insurance from The Conservation Volunteers.
One of the initial aims was to start a very visible project aimed at showing how vegetables can be grown in urban areas and inspire people to have a go in their own gardens and other public spaces. We approached our local council, Bury, met with Mike Bent (Head of Parks and Leisure) and his colleagues. They were extremely supportive and suggested that we create 3 vegetable beds in St Mary’s Park, close to the children’s playground. The spot is fantastic and is highly visible. We have been gardening and spreading the word about growing vegetables ever since.
St Mary’s Veg Beds is only one of many projects. Others include Phillips Park gardens, The Ostrich pub garden, Prestwich Clough Forest Garden, Heaton Park Community Garden, Sedgeley Park, Whitefield Fire station, Radcliffe Metrolink station, Growing Schools, small street planters around Prestwich.