Grant boosts Catterick community woodland project

A community woods project that prides itself on inclusivity will be able to extend its reach even further thanks to a housing association grant.

The money, from Broadacres’ Community Development Fund, will pay for a set of accessible gardening tools to allow people with a range of conditions to roll up their sleeves and participate in outdoor activities at Bramble Woods, near Catterick Garrison.

The 3.5-acre site includes an ancient woodland, flower meadow and pond as well as a community allotment with polytunnel and planters, firepit and picnic benches. It has hosted a wide range of events including volunteering days, live theatre and children’s themed activities.

The site is run by the e50k Community Interest Company. Whilst it has an emphasis on helping the armed forces community to tackle issues such as social isolation, mental and physical health and wellbeing, site manager Amy Manuel says they are also visited by local people of all ages and backgrounds including nurseries and schools, local dog walkers, Scouts and Guides and casual day visitors.

“We have big plans for 2024 and want to increase the number of people using our site, including the Gurkha Community, refugees, disabled and older generations in Richmondshire and Hambleton.” said Amy.

“We want people to use our site with no restrictions or pressure. There’s an opportunity to utilise a plot in your own time with help and guidance available when needed or to simply enjoy the open space.”

The Broadacres grant will fund a range of garden tools with features that make them accessible, such as adapted grips on forks and trowels, long reach tools, kneelers, arm support cuffs, and adapted planters for wheelchairs and standing support planters.

“This kind offer of funding will provide tools for people with disabilities and poor health, young children and members of the community that may struggle with tasks due to sight loss, stroke survivors, dementia and other conditions,” said Amy. “Gardening can help improve mental health and well-being as well as fostering community and socialisation, and a sense of belonging for everyone regardless of ability.”

To learn more about Bramble Woods and the work of e50k visit https://www.e50k.org.uk/bramble-woods

The Broadacres Community Development Fund supports local organisations, groups, and projects in areas where Broadacres has homes. All grants are approved a Panel consisting of Broadacres’ residents.

To apply to the Fund visit https://www.broadacres.org.uk/customer-area/getting-involved/community-development-fund/