Garden Share

The Garden Share idea is a simple one. Some people have spare land – perhaps a part of their garden which they do not use – while others want to grow food but have no land. So why not arrange for the garden owner to share that part of their garden with someone who is keen to grow but has no garden of their own? Transition Stratford’s Garden Share scheme is a process for helping garden owners and potential gardeners to make contact and come to agreement on sharing some land.

The idea is not new – a number of Transition Towns have launched similar schemes, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (of TV’s River Cottage) has set up a web-based scheme, Land Share. Transition Stratford’s Garden Share scheme has been based on experience and good practice elsewhere to offer a face-to-face matching and support service for garden sharers.

The scheme was launched in spring 2010, and 10 shares were set up in 2010 – all in Stratford upon Avon. In summer 2014 we have 12 shares up and running. And six more gardens are available.

How does garden share work?

If you are interested in sharing some of your garden – or if you would like to be able to share some land to grow food – contact Transition Stratford on 01789 298503.

One of the Garden Share organisers will arrange to meet you to discuss what you want from sharing a garden, what might limit your options (for example, how far you can travel to your garden share), and what support you might need (for example, on the basis of your experience as a gardener).

The Garden Share organisers then try to find a good match between a garden owner and potential gardener, taking account of people’s preferences. If a match can be found, they arrange an introductory meeting between the potential sharers. If things work out, then an agreement is drafted. This is not a legal contract, but is intended to ensure the garden owner and gardener have a common understanding of the arrangement – and don’t find themselves encountering problems later.

Once the agreement is in place, the sharing begins. But the Garden Share organisers will stay in touch – and will always be available if any difficulties arise. And the organisers will be in touch every autumn with all those taking part in the Garden Share scheme to celebrate their contribution to the growing and sharing of local food.

Click for a leaflet on Garden share for garden owners and for a leaflet for growers.