Set up a community garden

A community garden can bring a wide range of benefits – from connecting people with each other to growing fresh food to enjoy

If well-planned, a community garden can offer people a place to relax, a way to engage with nature, meet others and get active outdoors. 

First things first

  • Identify a location for the garden. Contact the local council, or search the UK Government website to find out who the landowner is to then seek permission for your project. 
  • You or the group will need to have public liability insurance to protect it against the risk of public injuries and unforeseen issues. If you’re part of Britain in Bloom, It’s Your Neighbourhood or an Affiliated Society, you can access affordable insurance for your group
  • Engage as many people as you can, and find out what sort of garden people would like and how they’ll use it. You could contact local groups, schools or businesses to get people involved and talk about the potential benefits of a community garden project or space
  • Consider a timescale for the garden to be completed and agree a simple plan
  • Set yourself a budget and have a think about ways to fundraise
  • Set up a volunteer led community organising group to manage the project
  • Find out if any local gardeners, landscapers or builders would be interested in lending a hand
  • Work-out the orientation of your site (N, S, E or W) – this will influence what you can grow
  • Survey the site – walk around it and make a list of all the features or objects. Are there paths or sheds you would like to keep? Are there any plants that could still be used? What trees do you have? Check to see if any are protected by preservation orders or are in a conservation area, and look to keep habitats that already support wildlife, if you can. Perhaps there are materials that can be salvaged and repurposed?
  • Complete risk assessments before any work is started
  • Visit other community groups or sites that have done similar projects to gain ideas

Not the resource you need after all?  Explore the rest of our community gardening resources

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.