ePetition details

Please reconsider the decision to move Vegmead Community Garden

We the undersigned petition the council to Please reconsider the decision to move Vegmead Community Garden from its current location in Hedgemead Park to Kensington Meadows. Communities, like plants, don't fare well when they're uprooted.

In 2011 35 volunteers gave 400 hours collectively to set up Vegmead Community Garden. In the subsequent 5 years approximately 3000 volunteer hours have been given to the site which represents a monetary value of approximately £25,000.

The Council’s Parks Department is currently developing a long-term management plan for the park and as part of this is considering whether Vegmead, grown by volunteers for 5 years in a previously disused flower bed, should be moved.

We feel that this plan should, naturally, be developed with full consultation and input of the community using the park and living locally. So as to assist the council in this matter, we are starting this petition to raise awareness of the strength of public support in favour of retaining Vegmead in its current location. Vegmead is a vibrant and growing community, please don't move us!

The reasons given by the Council for the move are:

1) It is on a steep slope and has limited access to water, compost facilities, storage and other amenities.

Our response: Vegmead’s access to water, compost facilities, storage and other amenities has been greatly aided by the local community investment in the site, including donations from local businesses. Compost facilities and access to water do exist on site and these are complemented by additional water and compost brought to Vegmead by volunteers living locally. The upkeep of the space represents a cost saving for the council and the loss of the space would mean the loss of these free inputs into the site. As Honorary Alderman David Dixon has stated, “Local councils have less money than ever before to look after our parks. Therefore they should be welcoming all groups who are willing to ‘take on’ a space and look to make these truly valued partnerships.”Further investment in the site by VCG will create more sustainable access to these resources.

2) It is relatively difficult to access and is largely inaccessible to those with limited mobility.

Response: Vegmead does indeed present some access issues to those with limited mobility but VCG takes a proactive and solution-based approach to this issue. With council support, VCG can source and secure funding to open up access to the site, a view encouraged by Ben Howlett MP during a recent meeting. This would represent a cost saving to the council and once again demonstrate a progressive community-led approach to creating volunteering opportunities for all. Removing Vegmead does little to address the underlying access issues of this steep section of Hedgemead park.

3) It is poorly-suited to a heritage landscape.

Response: Vegmead broadens Bath’s horticultural offering within a heritage landscape that is well served with flower beds and does nothing to detract from the listed elements of Hedgemead Park (the railings, bandstand, water fountain and other structural features). In most of the parks in Bath there are ice-cream stalls, cafes, public loos, an entire skate park, a children’s playground, all within the site of the World Heritage boundary. Parks are not museums, nor should they be treated as such. They are living and breathing spaces for people. As resident Bruno simply stated, “The formality of Hedgemead and the resourceful nature of Vegmead make it an excellent showcase for a city re-displaying itself for future generations.” The ability of Bath to both protect its heritage and look ahead to the challenges of the 21st century is vital to ensuring the city is a dynamic, creative and sustainable place to live and work.

4) The location and layout of the space limits opportunities for the plot to develop further.

Response: Vegmead is a sustainable food growing site. Every food growing site no matter what size presents continuous opportunity as long as the soil is fertile. Rotation of crops, trials of new varieties and companion planting supports the growth of an array of crops and enriches local wildlife, especially bee populations. A living spac

This ePetition ran from 26/08/2016 to 15/09/2016 and has now finished.

53 people signed this ePetition.