National Garden Scheme announces nearly £250,000 in funding for 95 community garden projects across England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Without the support of the National Garden Scheme we would not have been able
to create this amazing little green space which is used by a wide variety of people
in our community.” 

Martin Davies of Embrace Wigan and Leigh 


To mark Community Gardens Week (1-7 April) the National Garden Scheme is delighted to announce the distribution of £247,502 of funding to 95 community garden projects across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  

Commenting on the funding, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme, George Plumptre said: “Now, at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is forcing many people to find innovative ways to support themselves, their families and their communities our Community Garden Grants are providing even more of a helping hand to thousands of people across the UK. 

“Many of the applications we received centred on the growing of food for communities and those helping others to learn to grow food. Many cited the benefits to the physical and mental wellbeing of their local community and the dozens supporting children and people with dementia.  Applications also came from a broad spectrum of society, including a number from ethnic minorities.  

“Community gardens help to reduce isolation, build friendships and give people a sense of purpose and hope so it is easy to see why people get involved and we are delighted to provide ongoing support to so many inspirational projects.” 

Danny Clarke – aka The Black Gardener – and National Garden Scheme Ambassador added: “The on-going support of the National Garden Scheme to so many great community projects is helping to energise the people they support and introduce new audiences to the huge benefits that gardens, and gardening bring to their health and wellbeing and to the environment and communities around them. Getting involved and making positive change in any community can be life-changing.” 

From social welfare and gardening projects that help the isolated, the disabled and the disenfranchised to support for community orchards, food banks and social prescribing projects at GP surgeries, the funding provides a much-needed boost to those working on or initiating community garden projects throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  

Giving that gives back  

Many of the funded community projects in turn open for the National Garden Scheme completing a virtuous circle of giving and giving back.  

Examples include: 

Rhubarb Farm, Nottinghamshire – a 2-acre horticultural social enterprise that provides training and volunteering opportunities to 60 ex-offenders, drug and alcohol misusers, older people, school students, people with mental and physical ill health and learning disabilities. The project received a grant for £1,352 and now opens its gates through the National Garden Scheme on dates in May, June, July and August. For details see: https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/32316/rhubarb-farm  

Ponthafren, Montgomeryshire is a registered charity that provides a caring community to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for all. Open door policy so everyone is welcome. The charity received a grant for £2,612 from the National Garden Scheme for raised beds and a polytunnel and water butts for grey watering. The venue now opens for the Scheme on 27 and 28 July and by Arrangement. For details see: https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/33091/ponthafren  

TWIGS Community Garden, Wiltshire provides a therapeutic environment in which people experiencing mental health issues can gain new skills and confidence through activities that include gardening, conservation and crafts. They received a grant for £3,887 to design and build a new garden space that all people struggling with their mental health can focus on the positive benefits of growing and tending plants. This garden will also be used to work with people experiencing grief and depression resulting from bereavement issues. The garden opens for the Scheme in 2024 on 19 May and 21 July. For details see: https://findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/25148/twigs-community-garden 


Distribution of funds 

Funding will be distributed throughout 2024 with project updates expected in early 2025. The 2025 Community Gardens Award application process will begin in the autumn with full details available on the National Garden Scheme website at: Community Garden Grants – National Garden Scheme (ngs.org.uk)  

More about National Garden Scheme funding and Gardens and Health programme 

In addition to the National Garden Scheme’s annual donations to nursing and health charities, the charity has been funding community gardening projects since 2011 when the awards were set up in memory of Elspeth Thompson, the much-loved garden writer and journalist who died in 2010. Elspeth was a great friend and supporter of the National Garden Scheme; she also wrote an admired ‘Urban Gardener’ column in the Sunday Telegraph that often celebrated community gardens. The programme honours Elspeth’s memory and supports the community gardens she loved. 

Since the Community Garden Grants began, £908,100 has been donated to almost 400 community projects. 

The Community Garden Grants (CGG) form part of the wider National Garden Scheme’s Gardens and Health programme which in 2023 saw the total funding for Gardens and Health projects exceed £3 million. It is a milestone on which the charity intends to build in the coming years, not only funding more garden projects in healthcare settings but also in the community for the benefit of individuals and diverse groups, enabling more people to have access to gardens and to discover the benefits they will find there. To discover more about the Gardens and Health programme, including recent funding for nurse-led community garden projects in partnership with our founder and beneficiary the Queens Nursing Institute (QNI) and the projects it supports visit our website at: https://ngs.org.uk/gardens-and-health-week/   

Following our Community Gardens stories on Instagram here

The full list of 2024 grant recipients can be viewed here:

Published 29 March 2024

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Our donations in 2023

Donor 1
Donor 2 £450,000
Donor 3 £450,000
Donor 4 £450,000
Donor 5 £425,000
Donor 6 £350,000
Donor 7 £350,000
Donor 8
Donor 9 £100,000
Donor 10 £90,000
Donor 11 £80,000
Donor 12 £281,000
Donor 13 £260,000