Springvale Logo
Springvale Logo

History of 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. It is a 4 acre site on 2 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. Until the mid-1970’s the site was the sewage works for Penistone. After that it became a training area for long-term unemployed people, then a commercial nursery. When it closed at the end of 2006 the site fell into dereliction..

It was then handed in trust to Penistone and District Community Partnership who decided to continue the gardening tradition at the site and to develop it as a community garden. Now Springvale Community Garden is a charity in its own right 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

The area on the South side of the River Don is now a nature haven. Volunteers have worked hard to improve access and to create a picnic area.


A New Start

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 pond, bug hotels and other wildlife habitats.
  • A nature haven and picnic area on the South side of the River Don.

Now it is growing into a place where the whole community can find something that gives them a better quality of life. The garden has been supported by Penistone Ward Alliance funding which has helped with materials for renovations and equipment. Local businesses have helped too. The garden is run entirely by volunteers who look after the site and raise the plants and vegetables.


2015 Improvements

2015 was a busy and exciting year for the garden. In January 2015 we gained Charity status and spent time developing our organisation to meet the Charity Commission’s requirements. Huge improvements were made to the site.

  • New polytunnel. The large polytunnel gives us year round growing opportunities and scope for groups to work inside when the weather is bad. We’re grateful to Armitage Garden Centre for their donation.
  • New fruit cage. This will keep the birds off the fruit. Thanks to Yorkshire Building Society for their donation.
  • More composting. We’ve built new compost bins and have had training in making great compost with help from Let’s Grow.
  • More raised beds.
  • Better equipment and training to maintain the site. Thanks to BMBC Ward Alliance and Love Where You Live Campaign for their help with this.

2016 Improvements

During 2016 we’re refurbishing a building to create a shop area and dry storage. It was just a skeleton and needed roof and walls as well as electrical and plumbing work.

The volunteers have done amazing things with donated kitchen units. Thanks to BMBC for their help.

We have more visitors and volunteers.

Several of the local schools now visit on a regular basis. We continue to have regular volunteers from Compass House. Corporate volunteers are increasing. Nat West, ASOS and Lloyds TSB have volunteered this year. We’ve acted as a satellite greenhouse for several growing initiatives across Barnsley in collaboration with Dan Wildsmith from Voluntary Action Barnsley.

We’ve had children’s parties, meetings and family BBQs.

New Building

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

  • A wonderful pond and dipping platform
  • Fabulous drystone wall raised flower bed
  • Paths and parking making the site safer and more accessible
  • Refurbished polytunnels providing year-round growing opportunities and scope for working inside when the Penistone weather is unkind.
  • A nature haven
  • Fruit cage to keep the birds off the fruit.
  • Toilet block
  • Seating
  • Raised beds with new scaffolding boards
  • Better equipment and training to maintain the site

We’ve also been able to host activities and workshops for children and adults with this generous support.


Plans for the Future

Plans for the future

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

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

Why not get involved?

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.

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

There’s something for everyone.

New Building