The Garden continues to be recognised as a model of good practice around the globe with research visits from the Italian Allotment Association, the South Korea Parks Department, and the Danish Community Gardens Group. We also hosted tours for the Havering Walking Group, Made in Hackney, the Wellcome Trust, Camden & Islington NHS Trust, Richard Cloudesley Charity, and Islington Hidden Gardens Tour. We gave presentations about our work to Islington Mind, help the Aged and to the Stuart Low Trust Friday social.
Highlights of 2017-2018
Special events in 2017-2018 included a new partnership with the Institute of Physics where we held a twilight workshop on the Physics of Birds.
A volunteer with the help of local poet John Hegley hosted Poetry Workshops for young people.
With support from the Local Initiatives Fund, we helped establish an inclusive choir which undertook two performances in the garden, with many members of the choir being drawn from our supported groups.
By popular demand, we obtained funding from the Peoples Postcode Lottery for workshops for Adults; covering simple horticultural techniques, plant identification, Pond life, Hanging Baskets, Edible flower growing and Botanical Drawing Arts Workshops. We ran 2 weeks of free Summer Arts for children.
We organised 5 members' trips - our spring and autumn visits to Kew Gardens which are open to all; we travel by train and our members accompany members of our supported groups. These trips provide an important learning opportunity, and help to build cohesion between people at Culpeper from different groups. We also arranged 3 trips for our Southwood Smith Group; a day on the Canal (thanks to the Angel Community Canal Boat Trust) the National Gallery for Botanic Art, and the South Bank.
Environmental Education this year has included a series of Horticultural Skills Workshops for Adults; as well as an expansion of our work with Primary Schools. We provided structured activities in the Garden for 28 classes this year and enabled both Vittoria and Thornhill Primary to use the Garden as an outdoor classroom for their own curriculum requirements.
The Family School (who work with excluded primary-aged children and their families) now visit almost on a daily basis with their young students to explore seasonal changes, hunt for bugs and benefit from the calm environment we have created. 3 Local nurseries bring their children to visit on an ad hoc basis.
In its 36th year, Culpeper was awarded a level 6 Outstanding in the Britain in Bloom category by the Royal Horticultural Society; and achieved second prize as Best Community Garden for Islington in Bloom.
On a weekly basis, we continue to work in partnership with:
The Elfrida Society- adults with learning disabilities
The Southwood Smith Centre and Islington Mind- adults with poor mental health
Stuart Low Trust- for all adults experiencing social isolation and mental distress
Room to Heal- for refugees and victims of human rights abuse
We run two weekly drop-in volunteer Gardening sessions; on Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings.
We provided a wide range of free events for our members and the wider community including:
- Members visits to Kew Gardens & the City Harvest Festival at Capel Manor.
- A Garden Open Day as part of London Open Garden Squares Weekend
- Spring and Autumn Plant sales
- Summer and Winter Solstice celebrations,
- Strawberry Tea for 120 local Pensioners, with scones baked by our members and strawberries donated by Dave & Pam from Chapel Market,
- Childrens’ Summer Arts Project for 2 weeks in the Summer.
- RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.
- Art for Adults including Garden print-making, Christmas Cards, and Festive Wreaths.
- A meeting space for a local Housing Cooperative
- A venue for Emily Thornberry MP’s Labour Party party.