For a number of years students and staff have been looking for the chance to run an allotment style garden on campus. Last year, we were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to develop a plot on Stag Hill where students and staff have since been working together to create and deliver a community garden.
The site has been established on the land left following demolition of Guildford Court Friary residences block, next to the Quiet Centre. A 450m2 plot of land was allocated with university commitment that the land will remain as a garden for the foreseeable future.
The project was being led by the University Sustainability team, with support from all across the university, and has now handed over to the Garden Society to get more students involved and run the garden over the coming year. Our site is part of the NUS “Student EATS” (Edible And Tasty Spaces) programme, which is already well underway at around 20 other universities across the UK, and which allows us to benefit from the knowledge and experience of these other sites.
During Go Green Week back in February we held a brilliant workshop with staff and students, led by Agnes Knoll, Student EATS Project Manager, where we discussed the design and running of the garden. The Garden Society have since been working on these initial plans and work is currently underway in the garden, laying paving, levelling the ground, and preparing the beds.
This progress has been made possible due to the support of the University Annual Fund. The garden project was awarded just under £10,000 from this year’s fund, which is being used to fund part of the infrastructure work as well as allowing us to purchase all important items for the site, including a polytunnel, raised beds, tools and plants.
Written by Victoria, the University of Surrey Environmental & Cultural Change Manager