Lottery Fund Revives Kitchen Garden's Work

As Chiswick House Trust takes over work in historic walled gardens

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Chiswick House Trust

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The Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food Scheme has awarded £96,000 to Chiswick House Trust to enable them to continue with the Kitchen Garden’s tradition of inspiring work with local people and schools.

With funding transfer was made with approval of the Kitchen Gardens Team in time for when the Trust takes over responsibility for the community programme run from Chiswick House Walled Gardens on April 1st.

The Local Food Scheme award will mean that a Community Gardener can be employed to continue and develop activities in the Walled Gardens, following major restoration works there.

One element of the Community Gardener’s role will be to manage volunteers from regular supporters to trainees, students, and large groups of varying abilities. The Community Gardener will also be working closely with the Trust’s Education Officer to deliver hands on free sessions to school children about growing food as well as organising public events and family learning in the gardens.

The grant was provisionally offered to the Kitchen Garden organisation to develop its pioneering and award winning community work with schools and local people. Following agreement between the Kitchen Garden and the Trust last year that the Trust would take on sole responsibility for management of the community programme, the Kitchen Garden asked the Local Food Scheme to transfer the award to the Trust.

Sarah Finch-Crisp, Director of Chiswick House and Gardens Trust said, “This is terrific news; the walled gardens provide a wonderful community resource and this funding allows us to develop and enhance volunteer activities and learning. Many people have registered their interest in volunteering in the gardens and we are most grateful to the Chiswick House Kitchen Garden organisation for attracting this significant award to Chiswick House”.

Jo Rabin, Chairman of Chiswick House Kitchen Garden said, “We are very pleased that the Trust has agreed to continue the work we started in the Walled Garden. At a time when there are so many concerns about childhood diet and exercise, we think it is particularly important that the Trust will continue the free sessions for local schools. We are grateful for the flexibility exercised by the Local Food Scheme that allows this work to continue under the management of the Trust, so that it can be organised as part of the activities of Chiswick House and a whole. It had been our intention that, over time, the programme would transfer to the Trust’s management - this has allowed that objective to be achieved much sooner than anticipated.”

The restoration of the Southern and Northern Walled Gardens at Chiswick House is nearing completion and includes the repair of historic walls and gates, the laying of paths and creation of an orchard. Volunteers who have maintained the community garden during the restoration works are now planting over 240 historic fruit trees and other soft fruit including apples, pears, medlars, quinces and mulberry.

March 24, 2010