A Community Assembly at the heart of a wildlife forest garden 💚

Hope Garden Newsletter — Wed 14th Feb 💖

In this week’s newsletter, news on the grant application, working with BlueGreenCymru and workshops, workshops, workshops


A Community Assembly at the heart of a wildlife forest garden 💚

  1. News
  2. Links
  3. Photos
  4. Hope

Welcome to the second issue of the weekly Hope Garden newsletter. I’d like to keep the momentum going with the newsletter, as it’s good to see what progress is being made, and to keep hopeful.

Anything you would like to know, or would like to say, just email me hello@hopegarden.uk .

Jake Rayson

1. News

Grant application 90% complete!

The grant application for the Prototype Hope Garden to the Local Places for Nature Capital Fund is going ahead well. The deadline is 12th March, and last week I wrote the majority of it. Denise Ashurst, who is a Community Assembly and direct action legend, has been through editing the application as well. Working as part of a team makes a massive difference to morale.

The idea is to get the funded prototype built this year, at Pen Y Foidr allotments, and this will inform the RHS show garden application.

I’m putting together the figures now, and a large part of it involves workshops!

Jake Rayson

Workshops, workshops, workshops

People under big canvas awning

BlueGreenCymru workshop under canvas

An integral part of the application is involving people in the creation of their Hope Garden, following the principles and processes of the Community Assembly. So this will involve a series of Community Assembly-style co-design workshops with myself , woodworking workshops for the benches with David Hunter , wildlife workshops to inform why certain features and plants are being used and for which species, and landscaping workshops on the basics of path and structure building, to inform future care of the site. The work gets done, the people are involved, and everybody learns.


I spoke with Phil from BlueGreenCymru today, they’re doing great work with an allotment and community garden in Danrhelyg just outside Newcastle Emlyn, and well-being workshops in St Dogmaels, and other projects too.

Sketch of canvas canopy over rope held by telegraph poples

Sketch concept for Community Assembly area

The photograph above is what gave me the inspiration for the above sketch. It’s simple, relatively cheap, portable, dryable and effective. I would love to get BlueGreenCymru on board to consult on the co-design process, because they have years of experience running outdoor workshops.

Jake Rayson

3. Photos

Curvy path with self-binding gravel through some aggregate beds, with raised circular gabion bed

John Little’s self-binding gravel paths, with low fertility aggregate beds and a circular gabion raised bed. Structural complexity, wildlife habitat.

Nursery and gravel out front

Celtic Wild Flowers nursery in Swansea. I love this place: native plants and great people.

Aerial photo of hillside

This is a new wildlife forest garden design project I have just started, near Kidwelly. Whether it’s 2 acre hillside or a backyard, it’s all about the wildlife habitat, native species and edible perennials

4. Hope

there needs to be some way that people can have their concerns addressed or looked at outside of government

~ Alan Bates, campaigner

Alan Bates is the campaigner and former subpostmaster. I heard this on the BBC’s Broadcasting House last week (at 12'54"), and thought that Community Assemblies, and their relation Citizens Assemblies , fit the bill really well.

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