We’ve asked the local community to show their support for our Save Vegmead campaign by telling us why the love the site. To leave your own comment please head to our Save Vegmead page.
We also have a petition that you can sign on the council website.
This is so valuable for all those that nurture this garden and those of the community. It promotes a greener existence and a healthy lifestyle. Why spend more of your budget on something that’s not as beneficial and more expensive.
Vegmead provides an interesting addition to Hedgemead Park where local residents without access to gardens or allotments can cultivate an assortment of vegetables. It brings together like minded people in to share their love of growing whilst also providing a refreshingly different and attractive visual to the more standard bed of roses or annuals typically seen elsewhere. It is well kept and I believe it should stay where it can be seen as a shared community enthusiasm.
One of the issued raised by the Council is that VCG is on a slope. There’s nothing wrong with growing veggies on a slope; it actually helps drainage and prevents roots from getting waterlogged. It’s easier to add water when needed, than to take it out.
“It is relatively difficult to access and is largely inaccessible to those with limited mobility.” Keywords: “Relative” and “largely”, so not impossible. Has the Council shown similar concerns about accessibility to those with limited mobility to the children’s play area which is also in Hedgemead Park?
Let there be another veggie garden in a different area which is more accessible to those with limited mobility; the more the merrier! Why move this one away and replace it with tulips because they can be admired from afar? Are we really going to see crowds of people with limited mobility gathering on level ground to gaze at a bunch of tulips?
How is it an intelligent decision to move VCG away from all the people who love it exactly where it is, when there could be an additional veggie garden somewhere else with easier access? It’s a veggie garden, not a monument. There can be more than one.
“Poorly suited to a heritage landscape”?? Seriously? Should we also ban people from removing articles of clothing and sprawling on the grass in sunny weather? Should we allow only pure breed dogs into the park? Perhaps we should all just wear tweed and imitate characters from Downtown Abbey when we go there …
Somebody at the Council apparently has a bee in their bonnet about VCG not being posh enough for a heritage landscape. I wonder how many people that actually visit Hedgemead Park think that “being posh” is a very important matter, and walking in a “posh-looking park” even more so.
Nobody is trying to raise pigs there; this is a veggie garden we’re talking about – flowers, plants, bees and butterflies … I would appeal to the Council to assist in expanding VCG to make it bigger, and to encourage similar projects in other parks.
These are modern times and require open-mindedness and forward-thinking. Let the heritage landscapes be preserved and protected, of course; and let them also be adaptable to the times that we live in, lest they become nothing but a relic of the past.
Vegmead is a tiny jewel of sefless enterprise in an environment where ‘regulation’ dominates the planting scene. I walk past Vegmead about 12 times a week back and forth and take a moment of pure joy watching this little productive oasis bloom and develop over the seasons. Long may it stay, not just because it has a proper positive function but so it continues to lift the spirits of those who admire its difference!
Vegmead is a perfect example of what makes Bath unique. Quirky, fun, forward thinking and intelligent. Please let it stay where passers by and drivers can see it, be amazed and inspired.
It’s a delight to see a park being used for food growing.
Having checked bathnes.gov for information on parks and open spaces I see that one objective is to provide suitable environments for local fauna and flora. How sad, then, that many parks are devoid of nectar and pollen-rich flowers and shrubs. Many Bath residents are doing their bit to provide suitable places for bees and butterflies in their gardens and the council could easily provide meadow-like places in parks to do the same (as they did on Odd Down roundabout a few years ago). How strange that they want to move Vegmead. What they should be doing is expanding this scheme (see Frome schemes) and offering advice and support to engage local residents, especially children in caring for the environment. Let’s not forget that it is public money that maintains our parks and residents should be able to share and nurture these spaces to promote wildlife and mental and physical well-being of participants.
I think a beautiful, well-tended, community-led vegetable plot belongs perfectly in a ‘heritage park’, how very snobbish of BANES council to suggest otherwise. They should be encouraging more vegetable plots like this in our parks, for the benefit of both humans and wildlife. So hands off Vegmead, you BANES bullies! Go and do something more positive that will actually benefit the community with our hard-earned council tax money.
I think the vegetable patch in the park is a wonderful idea in the perfect location. It testifies to a community that wants to preserve links with nature and our food supply. I take my grandchildren to the park and they are fascinated by the idea of a veg plot in a park. We know that there are lovely allotments nearby that attest to the interest in growing our own food but for most of us in central Bath it is not possible to participate because of shortage of allotments or no or minimal gardens. Vegmead should be encouraged and kept where it is in its public and central location.
I live a couple of minutes walk away from Hedgemead Park and pass by as I walk into town most days. I love to see the Vegmead garden as I walk past, and have thought it a wonderful idea since it started. It should definitely remain in full view of the public. In fact I think there should be a notice, readable from the pavement, explaining what it is, so that more people are encouraged to take a closer look. Please don’t remove Vegmead; it gives the park some life rather than it just being ornamental.
Passing the vegtable plot on the way to town each day reminds us all of where our food comes from and how it grows. It can be clearly seen from the road and gives visitors the chance to recognise a different side to the cultural heritage of bath. Relcating the vegtable plot will be a sad loss to headgemead.
Vegmead is a small worthwhile addition to Hedgemead’s green and varied spaces. I much admire the hard work of local community gardeners who have transformed an unattractive flower bed into a productive veg patch. BANES Council should be applauding this community action – we local people certainly do!
The vegmead site is a joy to see and is an important contribution to the local community. It should stay where it is.
Your plot, which I often walk past, is so much nicer than the awful municipal planting which preceded it. And I also get cross with the Council for interfering in really local issues they don’t understand. Anyway none of them actually live in Bath so what do they know about it!
Save Vegmead! Anything that gets people outdoors, eating healthily and interested in where food comes from can only positively be a positive!
As Co-founder of Incredible Edible Swindon and Vice-Chair and volunteer at the Secret Garden, a community garden in Swindon, I know how important spaces like Vegmead are for increasing access to healthy food, fostering community cohesion and enhancing the general well-being of the residents.
I am also a former Bath resident and once walked past this site twice a day, I only wish Vegmead existed then! My experience in establishing and running community growing sites has also taught me how crucial it is that they are are visible locations, like this one. Community gardens that are out of site can suffer continuous and very destructive vandalism – I have learnt this the hard way and it is totally demoralising for a group to experience this. I used to live in front of Kensington Meadows so I also know the proposed site very well and I would be very concerned that this site would attract vandalism.
I fully support Vegmead remaining in it’s existing location as it is clearly flourishing and it would be very detrimental to force its removal.
It’s a great shame that the council want to move Vegmead. I love seeing the vegetables growing in the plot – it’s such an original and inspiring use of the space. Veg are as decorative as flowers – runner beans, artichokes, cabbages, aubergines – all gorgeous to look at as well as sustainable, local and healthy. If there are volunteers willing to give up their time to manage it – and there are – I don’t see what the problem is.
It is a well tended, attractive plot, why change something that is working so well and provides a community focus.
I have only heard and seen good things about the plot and to change unnecessary. It is also a nice first impression for visitors who have had to fight their way along the unattractive London Road.
If the idea is to give room to expand then why not have the site at Kensington Meadow as well keeping the Hedgemead Plot as a flagship.
Why replace such a positive, community focused, productive, inclusive, sustainable, enjoyable, beautiful, educational project like Vegmead, with tulips?
Apparently you are planning to plant tulips over this community-led project. What a waste of public money. How very could you.
Nothing is more delightful than the natural look already achieved at Vegmead which offers a micro-environment to our local bugs and bees as well as a delightful view and produce to local humans.
I see the Veg Mead plot every day on my way to work and I think it’s a great, visible sign of community engagement and brilliant use of what should be a community space
Really B&NES, this beautiful and environmentally sound bed is the absolute epitome of what public spaces should be about – I have seen parks in places like France where parks were totally made up of edible, community lead borders. Do the right thing – support the beautiful community effort in Hedgemead Park.
Vegmead is a brilliant and inspirational project and there should be many more like it. Food is a basic requirement of life and we should encourage the growing of it to more public ally visible, owned and shared.
I walk past almost daily and this thriving little veg plot gives me much pleasure, as I am sure it does to so many others. Hedgemead Park is dark and shady and often used by people with dogs that are off lead and can be intimidating. The Veg bed shows a human, reassuring presence. Shouldn’t we in fact be adopting more unproductive city centre spots to raise food? (I’m a convert to growing your own. It saves money and is very therapeutic after a stressful day)
This is a very worthwhile and environmentally friendly project with huge benefit for the community in Bath. Save it!
We need more green spaces to be used for this purpose, the more visible they are the better.
What a show piece this is – it is an excellent example of what parks should be doing, ie encouraging sustainability, wild flowers, eating healthily- the list is endless.
Vegmead also puts Bath as a very forward city and the council should be applauded, as well as all the dedicated Vegmead volunteers.
I would very much like to see it extended in the beautiful spot where it is – what a view from the top of Walcot Street for all to admire, whether walking by or in a car. After all public parks are for the community, so please think again and don’t take something so meaningful away from the residents. I live in a flat and to sit in Hedgemead, then pick my own veg is a dream come true. Thank you.
This little but beautiful handcrafted vegmead space has provided me with the opportunity to know people in my community. By working together with them I have experienced trust, love and care for others and for the space where the veggies are planted. I also have felt in some occasions when my budget has been very low that some green leaves and maybe a courgette will solve my dinner and the feeling of ease that this generates has no price. I also have experienced in moments of sadness how going to the vegmead and doing some work with the soil, cleaning the plants, giving them water and doing bits and pieces have made me feel so much better afterwards. Working with plants is so nurturing for the soul and the heart, it provides wellbeing which has no monetary price. I think to close this space is violent towards the community, I think it is also insensitive and it does not take into account how much and in which ways it favours all of us. The other day a very humble and lovely man came in and we shared for an hour all his knowledge about plants and harvesting, he felt so good being able to share with the people that were there that day, his smile and joy again, has no price.
If the council wants to close this space it will be a sign of how dehumanising their policy is and how little they care about the emotional well-being of our community.
When my husband and I first moved to Bath, as we drove along the London Road we were intrigued by Vegmead. Who ran it? What grew there? How could we get involved? An evening walk answered all our questions as we came across the site bustling with active volunteers. We are now regular visitors and frequently eat the glorious produce it yields. Fantastic! This is the kind of Bath we want to live in!
Vegmead is an outstanding public space and we regularly walk through the park to spend time in the community garden. We are able to access the site with our 4 month old baby in the buggy, and there’s nothing better on a sunny evening than to spend time among the plants, people and flowers.
The council’s list of reasons for moving Vegmead are largely spurious, and seem to suggest that maintaining Vegmead on this site is difficult which the volunteers have proved is not the case. Vegmead’s prominent position is its main asset and I feel it should be kept where it is, as a signal that the council supports locally grown sustainable food.
This is a bonkers decision by the council who seem to want to relegate thus to an allotment status and hide it away out of the public view. The whole point of it is that it attracts attention, its highly visinble, adds interest to the park, looks quirky, and makes people think about growingredients egret ablest. If it is short on water and compost as the council say, they are doing remarkably well despite this. And if the council really are going to use disability access as an excuse to move this, perhaps they should move the whole park, as it’s all on a steep slope. This is anot atrocious decision by our council. Please council, think again, and don’t take this foolish action.
Great community idea – it should be visible to encourage more like it!
I grow much veg & fruit myself & I love to see other people growing veg & fruit. Vegmead shows what excellent things can be done on a sloping site – very many of those in Bath! But Vegmead also gets full sun all day so ideal for growing tomatoes, aubergines, peppers etc. Kensington Meadows, whilst nearer to a water supply, is out of sight & out of mind.
Vegmead shoud acquire one of those huge water tankers that are used on many allotments without a water supply. I saw them recently in Frome during Open Gardens Weekend there.
I would like to say I cannot believe what BANES are trying to do to Vegmead but nothing surprises me about local councils any more!
Your project is fantastic and the allotment is a great focal point to the park. The councils idea to move the project to a different location is silly, don’t move it keep it and replicate it elsewhere. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind.
Best wishes for your campaign.
I don’t see any reason why Vegmead should be moved – a local allotment site is “on a steep slope” and they manage fine, so that’s a feeble reason given for Vegmead to be tucked out of the way, in Kensington Meadows.
And as for it being “poorly-suited to a heritage landscape”, I’d rather see that being used and enjoyed, than having a bare flower bed that the council has run out of money to fill (or left until the week before the Britain in Bloom judging so the flowers aren’t caught by the weather).
It’s in everyone (including the council)’s interest for it to stay – people can enjoy the healthy benefits of veg growing, and the council don’t need to invest any money in keeping that site tended.
If anything, the council should be encouraging *more* use of ex-flower beds like this in the parks in and around Bath, rather than less!
And I agree, if there’s any veg growing done in Kensington Meadows, that should be a separate thing run by people local to that site, rather than forcing people to drive (as the people local to Vegmead’s current site would then be based too far away to get access on foot) which is something that seems contrary to Vegmead’s aims.
I recently visited the park and saw the veg patch and thought it was an inspired idea. So much more useful than flowers and just as decorative.
Vegetable growing is definitely a suitable activity within a heritage park as it gives a platform for the promotion of sustainable and environmentally friendly food production in an age of increasingly unsustainable production methods.
I love vegmead because it is inclusive, innovative, inspirational and in Hedgemead Park. . It’s removal and re-establishment in Kensington Meadows makes no sense at all but this is the same council that saw fit to put the mockers on James Dyson’s brilliant idea to set up an engineering school in Bath. So we, the voters, need to object now and do everything we can to clear them out in the next round of elections as they are so completely clueless.
Hedgemead Park is my local park and has been for over 45 years. I now visit twice a day with my dog. In my opinion Vegmead is the best thing to happen to our park in a long time. It is well maintained, good to look at, educational (children can see real food growing), gives a sense of community pride and provides free food (the runner beans were delicious). Much more decorative and useful than the not very impressive rose bed which suddenly appeared by bandstand.
It has been a fantastic way for students to meet up regularly (every Thursday evening and Sunday morning/lunch) to discuss plans for the garden, source the seeds and plants, students supporting/teaching other students. The group have been actively working with local neighbours in an attempt to ensure they have a stake in the plot. I have visited it, and helped, on more than one occasion and it is wonderful to do something so positive in the heart of Bath. All of our V Team Committee members have been active supporters of the site so much we have always included it in our Big Weekend of volunteering in October. I would be bitterly disappointed to see it move from its current site, the very fact it is so visible and beautiful when all the plants are in full bloom. The students love learning about growing food and taking home vegetables that they may not have grown before, they have great community spirit when they go off to socialise after their hard work gardening. Long may it stay at its current site.
I love Hedgemead Park and am appreciating the work that the Council have been doing here this year. Vegmead is part of the variety of the park and adds to the fun. Vegmead is very visible but isn’t that part of the idea that people can see what different uses can be made of public space. If it is moved that will be lost and the Council is surely missing a trick in advertising its support for community projects and its green agenda.
Bath Parks need innovation and retuning to the 21st Century and Vegmead is a great example of what we should be doing to create engaging, sustainable and memorable open spaces.
I love seeing the vegmead patch every time I pass by. A good friend of mine lives at Walcott parade so I walk along here often and the community efforts always bring a smile to my face. It’s great that this space is being used as a productive resource and can only serve to inspire passers by to get out and attempt their own veggie plots, no matter how small a space they have
This is ridiculous and unfair on the local community.
The visibility of Vegmead is what matters – it shows industriousness, environmentalism and creates a sense of safety to see others as I walk through the park several times a day.
Why is something so nice being taken away? No explanation from the council surprise surprise. Makes me wonder who’s bright idea this is and the reasoning behind it????
I’ve moved across to Widcombe but lived in Camden Crescent for many years and know Hedgemead Park very well. I think Vegmead is a wonderful thing and would love BANES to actively support and expand community growing spaces in the city. The health, mental health and community benefits of gardening are well known. Bath has a huge number of flat dwellers so the need is obvious and should be celebrated, not hidden away. Whenever I visit other cities, I always love to see projects like this, (who doesn’t?) and am very much hoping to see a Vegmead in an area of the remodelled Sydney Gardens too. Moving Vegmead makes no sense at all!
Although I have never grown or eaten veg in vegmead I often drive past it and am always made happy to see that people are so obviously growing food in a park so central to bath. The visual presence of the groups work is what sends the message to others that they can do it too. The locality is what is so important. Moving it and transforming a fertile garden into only flowers would be a real shame. More of these spaces are needed.
I would encourage BANES Council to re-think their strategy of removing the circular vegetable garden from Hedgemead Park. This local site enhances my sense of community and well-being. Not only is it a focal point of interest for all those who use the park. This site encourages traffic and pedestrians to be aware of community projects and the importance of creating sustainable spaces in the Bath City. I hope that BANES council will decide to support the visibility of this community. I also hope that they will be encouraged to create further spaces in the city to be developed in a similar way.
Keep Vegmead in Hedgemead Park! It’s a great effort from a community of people who want to sustain something useful and beautiful for everyone to enjoy.
This is my response to this week’s Council press release about Hedgemead Park:
I am sure Walcot residents will welcome investment and improvements to facilities in Hedgemead Park, which is well used and well loved by the community.
However there is no justification for the proposal to move the community vegetable garden from Hedgemead to Kensington Gardens. The Vegmead garden has been operating for five years now without any problems. It is maintained by local residents and volunteers at no cost to the Council.
At a time when public services are facing cut backs, why is the Council wasting its time and money trying to stop a community group from cultivating part of the park for free? If Vegmead is removed then the replacement will either be flowers, which will have a cost to the Council, or more likely grass, which will be a loss to the community. Instead, the Council should preserve Vegmead AND allow a community plot on Kensington Meadows.
Councillor Lisa Brett (Lib Dem Councillor for Walcot)
Transferring to Kensington Meadows would be unhelpful because the quality of the topsoil is inferior and, secondly, would remove it from a city centre location. The formality of Hedgemead and the resourceful nature of Vegmead make it an excellent showcase for a city re-displaying itself for future generations.
Vegmead is fantastic! Love having it so close by for my children to look at. Lovely to see a community project in Hedgemead, very inspiring.
Vegmead or yet another flower bed ?
For once Bath City Council do the right thing and leave Vegmead where it is.
Local councils have less money than ever before to look after our parks. Therefore they should be welcoming all groups who are willing to ‘take on’ a space and look to make these truly valued partnerships.
An oasis of calm at the edge of a busy road. A place where families can go and enjoy.
It needs to be visible. Growing veg is something to be proud of not hidden away.
I can see no good reason for this move, except some bureaucrat not liking it, for their own personal reasons. They aren’t there to push their own bigotry. Leave it alone!
As an ex-resident of Gloster Villas which overlooks the Vegmead patch I was proud to live so close to visible example of the community spirit that welcomes visitors to Bath. It would be so sad to see such a treasure hidden from view.
As a business owner on London Rd, my reflection on nearby Hedgemead Park is that with Vegmead community garden we actually have something very beautiful. Not only on the outward aesthetic; there is also something much more beautiful and powerful in operation here; a true heart beat exists to the park; a vibrant aliveness that is not something you can just relocate to some hidden corner of Bath. In deciding what we do with Vegmead I hope we honour it for what it is and think about what it is we want to say ‘yes’ to in our beautiful city!?
I first started popping down about 3 & 1/2 years ago, and have come along on occasion since then; Back then passing members of the public would come up to say hello, endorse the veg patch, and sample a bit of produce, much as they did last time I was up there less than two weeks ago.
The social side has always been apparent; I remember an older gentleman from the locality who came along when Eva was running it (3 years-ish ago), his sole intention being to have a good chinwag; A year or so later when the patch’s management had changed hands, the work sessions would be followed by a pint in The Bell and a good natter; And now that the plot is under threat it has yet again brought folks together, people willing to devote their free time to sustaining Vegmead.
My dog is also a fan, and very well behaved as regards observance of the garden boundary. He usually seeks to play with the Pine-cones that litter the hill-side.
Vegmead is beautiful, educational and a source of locally grown organic food. Not only should vegmead be saved but also there should be others dotted around Bath and the UK.
Community gardens like Vegmead should be cherished and encouraged, we need more places like this – not fewer!
In a world where most are staring at their phones, driving or walking past Vegmead reminds us to stop and be a little bit more mindful. Shoving it behind Morrisons won’t do that!
Vegmead provides a wonderful opportunity for the University of Bath’s V Team (volunteering society) to send volunteers to work in the garden along side members of the public. When V Team volunteers are there in their visible red t shirts this often sparks conversation with members of the public and helps to improve the image of students in the city. This is possible due to vegmead’s visible location, and it would be such a shame to hide such a fantastic project away from view.
The vegmead communitiy garden should be kept as such.
I manage the Volunteer Office within the Students Union at the University of Bath and for the past 2.5 years we have been recruiting students to help with Vegmead.
Students get involved because they want to get involved with the community, they enjoy the community feel and also find Vegmead a great way to relax whilst doing exams and course work.
I just don’t understand why the Council wants to relocate the plot at Hedgemead because it is an eyesore. One of the main aims of Vegmead is to highlight how we can grow vegetables etc in a small bit of space and how beneficial this is to the community -from an educational and health prospective. Shouldn’t we be shouting about this and putting it in the spotlight rather than doing the opposite?
I very much hope that this decision is reconsidered and that Vegmead can carry on with all of their good work (that they offer for free!!!) at Hedgemead Gardens.
Although not a user of Vegmead myself (my wife and I have a good sized veg patch at home), I fail to see why the council have decided the site needs to be moved. Although in a visible park, I seriously doubt whether the sight of healthy vegetables being grown is going to decrease the amount of tourism to the city.
With all the austerity measures and scaling back of local services that this council administration are currently imposing, it seems incredulous that they have funds to waste dislodging a voluntary community group who are beautifully and sustainably maintaining an area of Hedgemead Park for free, and just to add a new flower bed for the Council to maintain!
IMO it is a frivolous waste of public money.
The present location of the Vegmead plot is perfect for advertising to the whole city that Bath values community enterprise and supports sustainable environmental issues. Come on, Councillors: this city is about more than JANE Austen and steaming springs and park planting of transient annual blooms. You need to enter into the national debate on how we can encourage people to become involved in our local food production and the contribution that something like Vegmead makes to the wellbeing of your citizens. Don’t hide it in a new location, celebrate its success in its present location.
I was so impressed to see a community garden within the park. Vegmead is the heart of the park and i really don’t think the park would be the same without it. I ask the council to reconsider any changes to this fantastic community project.
I enjoy seeing the vegmead community garden every day when I walk through the park. I think it is great that a group of local people have had the initiative to get together and make something beautiful and useful. I think it would be such a shame to move this garden from the area and cannot understand why the council is not supporting this enterprise which has only positive benefits for the community and the environment.
I have lived in Bath for twenty years. During my time here I have been introduced to the ideas around sustainable living, received training and I have given my time as a volunteer to several orchards and growing projects in around Bath. The first Farmer’s Market was pioneered here, out of the offices of The Bath Environment Centre, originally in Milsom Street, and later in South Vaults at Green Park Station renamed ‘Envolve’. Bath’s reputation is enhanced for having this ‘Green’ image.
Bath needs to attract a diverse range of people in order to address the challenges of the future, in particular sustainable food sources. If volunteers are willing to maintain a site visible to all who enter Bath then they are serving a public good. By doing so they declare that growing vegetables in an open park-like environment is a main-stream activity that involves a local community, and enhances the area with the intrinsic beauty of the plants. In addition these are available for harvesting. This is surely in the public interest, as it acts as a networking site for other growing ventures in more outlying locations. I submit that Vegmead can only be Vegmead in Hedgmead!
Dear council members, I do hope you will reconsider your decision to relocate the vegmead community project. I regularly visit it with my young grandchildren as I do not have a vegetable garden myself and the children love to see food growing and they are allowed to taste some things which is even more fun. There is something for everyone in Hedgemead park, lovely flowers below the band stand and along the paths, a playground, picnic area , dog walking space, and a place to help people understand where our food comes from, how it grows and cultivate it. Morrison’s would be too far away for us to visit and it would no longer be a local community project for many people. Please could you spend the money on sorting out the shelter area near Guinea lane and remove the hideous fencing, instead of removing something that brings great benefit and pleasure to the residents of this area.
Many thanks for your consideration
Having just moved to near Hedgemead Park, I was so impressed to see a community garden within the park.
Vegmead is the heart of the park and i really don’t think the park would be the same without it.