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www.growingredhill.co.uk

New beginnings

Growing Redhill is your community gardening group that's active in Redhill, Reigate and Merstham.

We are actively recruiting a new person to inspire and lead the group in its next phase. Would you be our new public-facing contact?

Find out more here

www.varb.org.uk/opportunity/chairperson-7027/ 

It would be really good to know the group will be led into the future by a new Chairperson with energy and ideas.

The group has funds and plenty of local support. Here’s some quotes we received at events in 2023:

"Thank you for what you do."

"Merstham looks stunning compared to other stations...I think it looks amazing."


We also urgently need volunteer gardeners for our local projects. You will be among friends and we provide tools and advice.

Do you want to benefit from more fresh air, light exercise and helping wildlife? 

Find out more about this opportunity here  


www.varb.org.uk/.../community-gardening.../ 

For regular Growing Redhill updates, why not like us on Facebook facebook.com/GrowingRedhill


2024 Programme

 

January


Tuesday 16th January - Committee meeting, venue tbc, 17.30.


February


Saturday 3rd February - Local Station Partners - a free event for sharing good practice on local station gardening and improvements. By invitation. This is part of our Merstham Station community project.


Tuesday 13th February - Committee meeting 7pm Home Cottage, Redhill. 


Early to mid-spring - cycle repair and maintenance sessions and cycle training with Surrey County

Council at Merstham Station, dates and locations tbc.


Friday 23rd February - Launch of the Merstham Station Improvement Project at East Surrey College

and exhibition of student artwork for the project. By invitation.


Sunday 25th February - A cycle repair and maintenance session at Merstham Station.


March


Saturday 2nd March - visit to St Katharine’s Garden, Merstham, contact us for details.


Tuesday 12th  March - Committee meeting 5.30pm venue tbc or on Zoom.


Sunday 17th March - Reigate Station planters activity. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Saturday 23rd March 10.30 to 12.30 - Meeting of the East Surrey Horticultural Societies at Hurst Green Community Centre, Oxted. By invitation.


Sunday 24th March - Working party at Reigate and Merstham rail stations for a general tidy up and weeding. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Sunday 24th March 09.30-11.00 Dr Bike session alongside cycle training at Merstham Station tbc. 


April

Sunday 7th April - Reigate Station planters activity. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Tuesday 9th April - Committee meeting, venue tbc, 17.30.


Saturday 13th April - Spring seed swap & fun-day at Merstham Hub: seed swap, plant sale & volunteer recruitment session.

 

Sunday 28th April - Merstham Station working party for a general tidy up and weeding and work on the cycle rack area. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Sunday 28th April 09.30-11.00 Dr Bike session alongside cycle training at Merstham Station tbc. 

 

May

Offer date for Merstham Brownies fun growing activity. At Canada Hall, Merstham. Closed event.


Sunday 12th May - Reigate Station planters activity. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Sunday 26th May - Merstham Station working party for a general tidy up and weeding and work on the cycle rack area. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Tuesday 28th May - Committee meeting, venue tbc, 17.30.

 

June

Sunday 16th June - Reigate Station planters activity. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Sunday 22nd June - AGM with refreshments. Tbc.


Sunday 30th June - Merstham Station working party for a general tidy up and weeding and work on the cycle rack area. Planting up the planters to celebrate the Olympics. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


July

Tuesday 2nd July - Committee meeting, venue tbc, 17.30.


Saturday 14th July - Reigate Station planters activity. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Sunday 28th July - Merstham Station working party for a general tidy up and weeding and work on the cycle rack area. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Weekly watering sessions on alternate Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 19.00 for stations:

       Week 1 - Tuesday.

       Week 2 - Wednesday.


If we are watering weekly due to hot weather, we won’t be needing the Sunday sessions booked in July or August as we will tidy the planters at the same time.

 

August

Sunday 11th August - Reigate Station planters activity. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


25th Sunday August - Merstham Station planters activity at Merstham Train Station for a general tidy up and weeding and work on the cycle rack area. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Tuesday 27th August - Committee Meeting venue tbc, 17.30.

 

September

1st September (tbc) stall at Quality Street Fair, where we will have our mini show again.


Sunday 15th September - Reigate Station planters activity. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Sunday 29th September - Merstham Planters working party at Merstham and Reigate Train Station for spring bulb planting, a general tidy up and weeding and work on the cycle rack area. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


October

Saturday 6th October - Bulb planting in Redhill Memorial Park. Tbc.


Tuesday 8th October - Committee meeting, venue tbc, 17.30.


Sunday 20th October - Reigate Station planters activity. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Sunday 27th October - Working party at Reigate and Merstham rail stations for a general tidy up and weeding. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.

 

November

Sunday 17th November - Reigate Station working party. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Tuesday 19th November - Committee meeting, venue tbc, 17.30.


Sunday 24th November - Merstham Station working party for a general tidy up. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.

 

December

Date to be confirmed. Members' Christmas get together.

 

To be added:  We want to offer the following to groups, but we can only do if we have more help:

 



Do you like the new 'no mow' areas in 

Memorial Park, Redhill?

Growing Redhill is working with Reigate & Banstead Borough Council Greenspaces Team to improve your park. This includes bulb planting and 'no mow' areas

If you want to join in more activities in the park contact 

admin@growingredhill.co.uk

Why not become a member of Growing Redhill as a member for only £5.00 per year? 

Email admin@growingredhill.co.uk or call 07717 678968.

Want to try something new and enjoy the outdoors?

Then volunteer with us. Watch out for volunteering opportunities with us on the VARB website:

We have plenty of opportunities for teams or groups that would benefit from an outdoor activity. Gloves and tools will be provided. Contact admin@growingredhill.co.uk

Our bulb planting in Memorial Park reminds us year on year of our fantastic volunteers! 

Station improvements

Have you seen our ‘shop windows’ of planting on Merstham and Reigate Stations? We receive a lot of positive feedback from station users. Refreshing the planters is for Growing Redhill members only. If you are a member and want to join in, for safety reasons please let us know well in advance and you will need to provide photograph identification.

We thank the Govia Thameslink Railway team, Community Rail Partnership and station staff for all their support. 

If you have ideas on how we might make the station areas better, then please let us know admin@growingredhill.co.uk

A splash of new colour at Reigate Station


Growing Redhill supports the SES Water Every Drop Counts campaign

In October 2020, we were delighted to receive a grant from SES Water for £1,000 for a new water-saving project.

Over coming months, we'll create a demonstration area on Batts Hill allotments on the Redhill - Reigate border. 

Through demonstrating rainwater harvesting and saving, allotmenteers will gain confidence in applying measures to their own plots. 

Growing Redhill will also spread the education wider through our community gardening projects.

SES Water is a local company supplying areas of east Surrey, parts of West Sussex, west Kent and south London and is proud to have served these communities for over 150 years.

Water is the most precious resource, yet we tend to take it for granted. To avoid future water shortages, we need a major culture shift in how we value water. This is especially true when it comes to water usage in allotments.

That’s why, as part of its Every Drop Counts campaign, SES Water is making available a community fund for allotments in its supply area to apply for a donation to help improve their water efficiency e.g. by installing water butts, providing more watering cans over hose pipe usage or even fixing leaking taps or pipes.

Find out more here https://seswater.co.uk/ and visit the Our Community page if you want to apply for funding.

          Contact

        Debbie Fox, Chair

        Karen Murray, Secretary

        Growing Redhill 

        Email: admin@growingredhill.co.uk 

        Tel: 07717 678968. 

        

15 years of Growing Redhill

It is not widely known that Growing Redhill has completed 15 years of community gardening.

We have always been a modest group in size, evolving over the years according to what local people need. Nowadays, we make donations and give start-up advice to local groups wanting to ‘grow their own’. This is especially when they would not otherwise be able to afford it.

Our early activities included some food growing and building a stag beetle loggery on land in Merstham. We were part of a wider group called Sustainable Redhill. Then:

·       In November 2008, Growing Redhill really took off. We had a donation of tools from Fiskar's Orange Thumb community initiative. We started to help local people to 'grow their own' through a formal Landshare Agreement on land in Merstham and worked more in partnership with local organisations. 

·       At the beginning of 2011, we relaunched our website at www.growingredhill.co.uk

·       In 2011, we worked with Merstham Station’s owners to install large flower planters at Merstham Station and we have run them ever since. Commuters and other travellers have enjoyed everything from traditional English herbs to tropical banana plants. Following a break in 2018, while we became a formal station partner, we are back with a colourful splash!

·       By 2013, we had up to 20 plots occupied by local residents as well as bee hives on the half-acre growing site in Merstham, Surrey, with kind permission of the landowner. 

·       Over time, our novice growers fledged onto proper allotment plots – or else took their new found skills to new areas with growing families. We chose to return the site to the landowner in 2014. 

·       Since 2010, we’ve held five ‘Free Fruit Days’ at which we’ve redistributed up to 400kg home grown fruit in a day on Reigate High Street. Our members have also been out and about year on year, picking unwanted local fruit – some of which went to the Merstham Loveworks food bank in 2017. 

·       In 2013, we were given £2,000 by a benefactor. We started to spend the grant and got a gardening project off the ground at Warwick School, Redhill with installation of large raised planters and a lunchtime gardening club.

·       Since 2014, we’ve worked together with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council in Memorial Park, Redhill. Once the park was re-opened, we helped to plant up the new sensory garden. Since then, we’ve planted hundreds of daffodil bulbs that now create a colourful splash every spring. Lately, we've created new 'no-mow' areas.

·       In 2015, we won a Mayor of Reigate and Banstead’s Volunteer Team of the Year Award.

·      From 2016, we worked annually with The Challenge and young people on the National Citizenship Scheme to give them an opportunity to grow life skills. Here’s a message from Team Reiss who we worked with in Summer 2018:

"It is becoming more and more evident within society today that not enough people are going outside. This reveals a gateway into a grim future for the next generations as well as the current. Physical illness, mental illness and a fragmented society. Help us campaign for a better, brighter, greener future."

·      In March 2019, we convened East Surrey horticultural societies for the first time.

·       During the Covid 19 pandemic, we kept up outdoor gardening activities when Government rules and GTR permitted it. We were awarded £1,000 by SES Water for an allotment water-saving project.

·       In 2022, we provided pop-up grow your own for Merstham Brownies and Redhill Food Club and won a Mayor of Reigate and Banstead’s Volunteer Team of the Year Award.

·      In 2023 we convened East Surrey Horticultural Societies again, aided by a grant from Cllr Jonathan Essex. We started gardening on Reigate Station together with Loveworks, Reigate. 


Planting up wellies with fragrant herbs


National Citizenship Scheme - takeover!

The NCS Perham Team took over from 19-26 August 2017! Nine young people from as far afield as Croydon and Nutfield planned a sponsorship day, a volunteering day and campaign day. They raised over £230 for Growing Redhill's community projects. You can use the 'Donate online' link at the bottom of this page to give whatever you can.

Space to grow project

We want to help more people in Redhill and the surrounding area to 'grow their own'. Do you know someone who cannot afford to grow? Or would your group benefit from our support? Contact admin@growingredhill.co.uk

           Membership and benefits

As a member of Growing Redhill, you will have access to unique opportunities for growing locally, meeting like-minded people and passing your gardening skills to others. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a member.                  

 Contact admin@growingredhill.co.uk.