All about the garden

Springvale Community Garden is a vibrant community asset which is becoming increasingly well known for the opportunities for volunteering as well as excellent seasonal vegetables, fruit and plants.

The garden occupies a 4-acre site on both sides of the River Don in Springvale, Penistone. People who haven’t visited for a while will be amazed at the progress on the site.

Run entirely by volunteers, the garden is a registered charity with the aim of providing:

  • Education about growing and healthy eating
  • Conservation of the diverse habitat on the site
  • Purposeful Recreation – opportunities to get actively involved in a worthwhile and enjoyable project

[ click here to find out more about the history of the garden … ]

The Main Garden

The main garden is on the north side of the river and accessed from Sheffield Road in Springvale.

Restoration work began on the Garden in the summer of 2008. Gradually volunteers have cleared the site and created…

  • a unique Physic Garden – a demonstration garden of medicinal, culinary and other useful plants.
  • raised beds, greenhouse and polytunnels for vegetable growing
  • an orchard
  • a gorgeous flower border
  • an orchard
  • a wildlife pond and dipping platform
  • beehives producing local honey
  • bug hotels and other wildlife habitats
  • a small plant nursery and shop selling freshly picked produce and preserves

[ click here to find out more about the Physic Garden … ]

Riverside Nature Area

The garden is split into two parts –

This Riverside Nature Area is a hidden gem accessible from the bottom of Don Street in Springvale. It is around an acre on the bank of the River Don and is designated as a nature haven.

Springvale Community Garden hold this land in trust for the benefit of the community.

Volunteers have worked hard to improve access and to create a picnic area. There is a path leading down the bank, across the marshy area and along the riverside until it climbs up again.

Anyone is free to visit and it is open access.

[ click here to find out more about the riverside nature area … ]

How we raise funds

We’ve made huge improvements to the site through donations and funding.

The garden is run entirely by volunteers who look after the site and raise the plants and vegetables so there are no costs for wages.  

Every Wednesday and Saturday we sell produce and plants at the garden to raise funds for day-to-day maintenance.

Our plants and produce are developing a reputation for quality. Seasonal, fresh, chemical free fruit and vegetables can’t be beaten. They are available at the garden every Wednesday and Saturday. All the money raised goes into running the garden, so every visitor who buys a cabbage or a pot of jam makes a difference. In fact, our new shop cabin was funded entirely from sales of vegetables and produce.

We hold events and workshops throughout the year.

For large improvements and major developments we look for funding or donations from a variety of sources.

Thanks for your support

The garden has been supported by Penistone Ward Alliance funding which has helped with materials for renovations and equipment. Local businesses have helped too.

As a result of generous donations we have been able to add the following …

  • a new large polytunnel which gives us year-round growing opportunities and scope for groups to work inside – we’re grateful to Armitages Garden Centre for their donation.
  • we’ve refurbished our existing polytunnels giving more opportunities for working inside when the Penistone weather is unkind.
  • a new fruit cage to keep the birds off the fruit – thanks to Yorkshire Building Society for their donation.
  • we’ve built new compost bins and have had training in making great compost with help from Let’s Grow.
  • we’ve created more raised beds with new scaffolding boards
  • we’ve got better equipment and training to maintain the site
  • a wonderful pond and dipping platform
  • fabulous drystone wall raised flower bed
  • we’ve got better equipment and training to maintain the site …….
  • a wonderful pond and dipping platform
  • fabulous drystone wall raised flower bed
  • paths and parking making the site safer and more accessible
  • a nature haven
  • toilet block
  • seating
  • we’ve also been able to host activities and workshops for children and adults with this generous support.

We’re enormously grateful to organisations that have supported us over the years, including –

  • Penistone Ward Alliance
  • Cooperative Community Fund
  • Tesco Bags of Help
  • Round Table
  • Ladies Circle
  • Penistone Town Council
  • South Yorkshire Police
  • Yorkshire Bank
  • Twiggs

We are also grateful to generous individuals who have donated in memory of their loved ones.

Our volunteers

Our volunteers have many different reasons for being involved. Some enjoy getting stuck into physical tasks others play a role with administration. Some enjoy being part of a group, being part of a worthwhile cause or just coming to the garden for relaxation.

Many are retired and being part of the garden provides companionship and purpose as well as keeping fit and active. Some volunteers find the garden helps with their recovery from physical or mental illness or personal difficulties.

We have engineers, gardeners, builders and some who would say they have no particular skill and simply enjoy helping in whatever way they can.

Why not get involved? There’s something for everyone.

[ click here to find out more about volunteering with us … ]

Our visitors

More and more people are visiting the garden. For some it’s a tranquil haven to sit and enjoy the peace. Others appreciate the plants and vegetables.

We’ve made the site available for affordable children’s parties, meetings and family BBQs making it an interesting and healthier alternative.

Brownies, school groups, Scouts and Cubs visit. Adult social groups visit too and we can often arrange an interesting talk about the garden as well as tea and cake.

We have links with local wildlife experts, yoga group, craftspeople, pottery and poetry groups and have the aim of attracting more local interest groups to use the site. Our recent Open Day included a wildlife walk helping local people appreciate what is in their area.

The garden is growing into a place where the whole community can find something that gives them a better quality of life.

Plans for the future and projects we have in mind

Our goal is to involve more and more people and make the garden a real community hub for education, conservation and recreation.

Some of the projects we’d like to fund that will make a real difference and which we’d struggle to fund from produce sales are:

  • We have Awards for All funding to enhance the main gate. It’s rather austere! We will involve the whole community in gathering ideas to inspire the design.
  • Better signage. We need to make it easy for people to see where we are with good signs on Sheffield Rd and at the top of the lane.
  • More attractive seating around the Garden. 

As you look around the garden you will see information about ideas we have for developing the site even further.