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2022 Programme

March


Tuesday 1st March at 17.30 - Committee meeting, Merstham Hub.


Sunday 13th March - Merstham Planters working party at Merstham Train Station for weeding and planting snowdrops in the green. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Date tbc Meet with teachers/PTA at Merstham Primary School to discuss their gardening project.


Saturday 26th March at 10.30 to 12.30 - Meeting of the East Surrey Horticultural Societies at Methodist Hall, Redhill. Invitation only.


Saturday 26th March at 12.30 - Walk around Memorial Park to review bulbs we planted previously.


April

Sunday 3rd April - Merstham Planters working party at Merstham Train Station for planting spring bedding and a tidy up, plan work on the cycle rack area and crescent opposite the front of the station. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Tuesday 12th April at 17.30 - Committee Meeting at Merstham Hub.


Saturday 23rd April from 10.30 - 12.30 - “Sow into Spring” at Merstham Hub seed swap, children’s growing activity & plant sale.

May

Sunday 8th May - Merstham Planters working party at Merstham Train Station to create a tribute for the Queen’s Jubilee on the platform. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Wednesday 11th May at 18.00 - Merstham Brownies fun growing activity/gardening badge. Canada Hall, Merstham. Closed event.


Saturday 28th May at 14.00 - Committee Meeting at Priory Farm's Café.


June

Wednesday 1st June from 12.30 - 1.30 - Redhill Baptist Church Food Club grow in a trough/windowsill demonstration and taster. Closed event.


Sunday 5th June from 10.00-11.00 - Merstham Planters working party at Merstham Train Station for a general tidy up, plant planters to celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee and weeding, tidying work on the cycle rack area. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Saturday 25th June from 10.30-12.00 - Growing Redhill Annual General Meeting and garden tour at a committee member’s garden. This is for members and invited friends only.

July

Wednesday 13th July - Merstham Planters working party at Merstham Train Station for a general tidy up and weeding. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Saturday 30th July at 15.00 - Committee meeting at Priory Farm’s Café.


Weekly Wednesday evening watering at Merstham Station. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


August

Sunday 21st August - Merstham Planters working party at Merstham Train Station for a general tidy up and weeding. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Weekly Wednesday evening watering at Merstham Station. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.

September

Saturday 10th September at 15.00 - Committee meeting at Priory Farm’s Café.


Sunday 18th September - Merstham Planters working party at Merstham Train Station for a general tidy up and weeding. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Saturday 24th September from 10.30 - 12.30 - “Let’s Taste Autumn” at Merstham Hub.

October

Sunday 2nd October - Merstham Planters working party at Merstham Train Station for spring bulb planting and general tidy up. Registered volunteers only, contact us for how to join in.


Saturday 8th October tbc - Bulb Planting in Redhill Memorial Park.

November

Saturday 27th November 15.00 - Committee meeting at Priory Farm’s Café.

December

Date tbc - Members Christmas get together at Priory Farm’s Café.


Spring 2022 reflections

The Sow into Spring event on 23 April was a great opportunity to connect with our members and friends. Stalls were outside the Merstham Community Hub, with locally-grown plants for sale and a seed swap.

It was great to share our gardening know-how, from how to help an olive tree to recover to taking fuchsia cuttings. Gina offered a children's activity and Liz provided local honey tasting (it was much nicer than supermarket honey).

We want to thank everyone that contributed to our total takings on the day of £70.00.




Do you like the changes to the Merstham Station environment?

Growing Redhill is working with GTR to improve your station environment. This includes a wildflower meadow and new planters. Their contractor has hand built the new planter benches for you.

Why not put a picture of you on a bench on Facebook and tag

@GrowingRedhill

If you want to join sessions to pep up the planters, then why not become a member of Growing Redhill as a member for only £5.00 per year? Since we are the formal community partner for Merstham Station with GTR, we need to register you well in advance and will require photo id.

If you love your station planters - please buy a book in the station office and pay £1 to staff behind the counter – Or pay via Paypal at our website www.growingredhill.co.uk [Donate/ Join Us page]

Want to know more?

Contact Growing Redhill, your Merstham community station partner

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

Want to try something new and enjoy the outdoors?

Then volunteer with us. We've recently posted two volunteering opportunities with us on the VARB website:

Annual General Meeting Summer 2021

We held our AGM at the Merstham Hub on 10 July, aided by some lovely coffee and cakes from Merstham Mix Cafe.

Spring 2021 reflections

The daffodils that Growing Redhill volunteers planted in Memorial Park a few years ago bloomed again.

Our bulb planting in Memorial Park reminds us

year on year of our fantastic volunteers!

Inspiring confidence in rail again

We dialled into a special event online for station partners across the Thameslink area with GTR on 4 February 2021. We were delighted to see our pics featured in a celebratory slideshow! We learned about diversity and inclusion and how to open up projects to the whole community. There will be a supreme joint effort to inspire people’s confidence in rail again, when restrictions ease and we will do what we can to help by making the station as pretty as possible.

If you want to get involved in the planters or have other ideas on how we might make the Merstham Station area better, then please let us know secretary@growingredhill.co.uk

A splash of colour at Merstham Station

Five Growing Redhill volunteers tend to planters at Merstham Station, where Growing Redhill is a station partner with GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway). We want to thank the station staff for helping to water and garden, especially during the 2020-21 lockdowns.

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.

Be a friend for a fiver

Would you help us to share gardening know-how by being a ‘friend for a fiver’? This contributes to the essential public liability insurance for us to conduct Growing Redhill business.

To become a friend and make an online payment, visit our 'Join us' page to pay £5.50 via Paypal, which includes a Paypal transaction fee. Please remember to provide your contact details.

You will then qualify for our member-only events and activities.

If you want to pay another way, then please let us know via secretary@growingredhill.co.uk, thank you.

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.

It was a pleasure to work with Mole Valley Mulch at the beginning of our water-saving project. They made a donation of their lovely composted mulch to demonstrate how to avoid the need to water allotment plots.

https://molevalleymulch.co.uk/

2020 report

The Growing Redhill committee last met in person for a Special General Meeting on 7 July 2020 at a social distance and outdoors. At this meeting, we agreed to postpone the 2020 AGM that would have been in July. This was due to the Covid-19 pandemic and associated Government limitations on social distance, gatherings and travel. We agreed to alter the Rules to enable this. Months later, we reluctantly accepted that a 2020 AGM and meeting our members in person wasn't realistic. So we shared a written Chair's report and Treasurer's report and statement of accounts with our members.

A good variety of produce from Batts Hill allotment

Cool silver and white planting in the heat of the summer 2020

Funding news

National Lottery Awards for All is funding a project idea for an allotment composting toilet at the Merstham Community Allotment. The grant for £10,000 will help the Merstham community thrive.

The community allotment is based at plot 13 on the Weldon Way site. Any excess produce is shared with the community. To find out more, contact Charlotte Emery charlotte.emery@mcft.org.uk

Why do this? The campaign organisers say:

“Do you know that every bag of peat-based compost you buy contributes to wildlife habitat destruction and climate change? Do you know that many plant nurseries use peat when they produce plants for garden centres and other outlets? The digging of peat from the ground not only destroys unique wildlife habitats but releases tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and contributes to climate change.”

Follow the campaign and see how you can stop the sale of peat-free compost on Twitter and Facebook at @PeatFreeApril

How you can garden at a distance

Government advice is clear, we can still safely enjoy fresh air and green open spaces.

However, the face-to-face community gardening activities that we know and love are on pause. We will hold a seasonal event whenever Government guidance supports this type of activity again.

Many of us find considerable mental as well as physical health benefits in gardening. This is especially so in difficult times like these. What can we do? Support our local garden centres, which are deemed as essential retail.

Go peat free

A campaign called PeatFreeApril is organised by gardeners & writers campaigning to stop the sale of peat-based compost.

Why not try peat-free compost?

Previous events

On 7th March 2020, we hosted the first meeting of East Surrey horticultural societies. Richard Tabor, Chairman of Surrey Horticultural Federation, chaired it admirably. The societies range between 10 and 150 years old and have between 15 and 1000 members each! This first meeting will hopefully lead on to greater collaboration between us and we can gain strength from each other.

Find out about all of their programmes at https://surreyhorticulturalfederation.org/

Our bulb planting in Memorial Park reminds us

year on year of our fantastic volunteers!

On Saturday 26 October 2019 at The Merstham Hub, everyone enjoyed the fruit and veg share, honey tasting and making grass seed hedgehogs at the Let's Taste Autumn event.

There was also seasonal food on sale in the Merstham Mix café.

A selection of goodies at Let's taste Autumn

Local honey is tasty!

At the Community Fun Day at The Merstham Hub on Saturday 31 August 2019

with Cllr Keith Foreman, the Mayor of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council and

his wife Helen Forman, the Mayoress

ABOUT US

Growing Redhill is a community gardening group based in the Redhill area of Surrey. You don't have to be a skilled gardener to join, just enthusiastic! Since 2008 we've been helping people to 'grow their own' successfully in the Redhill

area. We also maintain the flower planters at Merstham Station.

Be a friend for a fiver

You can be a friend of Growing Redhill for a fiver for the whole year. Visit our 'Join us' page to pay £5.50 via Paypal, which includes a Paypal transaction fee. Please remember to provide your contact details. Or else bring £5.00 to one of our events when up and running again.

You will be supporting our local gardening activities that will benefit local people.

If you want to be more involved, a number of our activities are unique opportunities for members only.

Contact

Debbie Fox, Chair

Growing Redhill

Email: secretary@growingredhill.co.uk

Tel: 07717 678968.

A decade of Growing Redhill

It is not widely known that Growing Redhill has completed a decade 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.

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

· Since 2016, we’ve 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."

Team Reiss get their campaign started with Debbie Fox from Growing Redhill

Here's a taste of what we have done in more recent years...

In summer 2019, we mounted a pop-up exhibition at Merstham Mix Cafe on a decade of Growing Redhill.

On a wet Wednesday in August 2019, we offered a planting activity for children in Redhill Town Centre. This was in celebration of National Allotments Week.

On 6 July 2019 , we enjoyed hearing stories of the last 10 years of our community gardening at our Annual Meeting. It was held at Merstham Mix Cafe.

In summer 2018, we gave a small grant to Welcare, which was very pleased with the resourcing of its ‘Smellie Wellie’ family gardening project in Redhill.

Planting up wellies with fragrant herbs

Our annual general meeting in 2018 was held in scorching sunshine in the Chair's garden.

The bunting was out in Chair Debbie’s garden for our 2018 AGM

There was a bumper crop of apples locally in the autumn of 2017. So we went picking with kind permissions from The Feathers Pub and a landowner on Church Hill, Merstham. Some of the fruit went to the Loveworks food bank in Merstham.

National Citizenship Scheme - Aug 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 secretary@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 secretary@growingredhill.co.uk. Join us or donate online