History of the Garden

Springvale Community Garden is 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.

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 and then a commercial nursery. When this 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.

Now it is growing into a place where the whole community can find something that gives them a better quality of life. The garden is run entirely by volunteers who look after the site and raise the plants and vegetables.

2008 – 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
  • a wildlife pond, bug hotels and other wildlife habitats.
  • a Riverside Nature Area and picnic spot on the South side of the River Don.
  • a small plant nursery and shop selling freshly picked produce and preserves

2015 – We became a charity

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 …

  • a new large polytunnel giving us year round growing opportunities and scope for groups to work inside when the weather is bad – we’re grateful to Armitages Garden Centre for their donation.
  • a new fruit cage to keep the birds off the fruit – thanks to Yorkshire Building Society for their donation.
  • more composting facilities – we’ve built new compost bins and have had training in making great compost with help from Let’s Grow.
  • more raised beds for growing fruit and vegetables.
  • 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 – 2018

During 2016 we refurbished 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.

Recent improvements

During the last few years we’ve made huge improvements to the site through donations and a new shop cabin.

  • A wonderful pond and dipping platform – thanks to the Coop Community Fund
  • Fabulous drystone wall with raised flower bed – thanks to Tesco
  • Paths and parking to make the site safer and more accessible
  • Refurbished polytunnels enabling us to grow more all year round and to work 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

We’ve hosted craft and nature activities for children with support from Round Table, Ladies Circle and BMBC.

A bright future

The Garden goes from strength to strength as the community becomes more and more involved. The facilities are perfect for school groups, family parties and BBQs and meetings.

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

[ click here to read more about our future plans … ]

Why not get involved?

Our volunteers have many different reasons for being involved. There’s something for everyone.

[ click here to find out more about volunteering in this beautiful garden … ]