Bedford Fields Community Forest Garden
BEDFORD FIELDS COMMUNITY FOREST GARDEN IS AN OPEN-ACCESS GARDEN DEMONSTRATING HOW FOREST GARDENING CAN BE A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO OUR FOOD SYSTEM - RESILIENT TO SOCIAL AND CLIMACTIC CHANGE.
Despite our nearby parkland, the Hyde Park area of Leeds has one of the lowest ratios of greenspace to grey built-up environment in the entire country, so our forest garden is a precious community resource. It is used by local people, and as a venue for Leeds Permaculture Network and other Leeds based sustainable gardening groups . It is open to visit and enjoy at all hours, every day, and it is simple to contact the garden team if you'd like to jorganise a guided visit, join workshops or events, or if you want to volunteer with us. You can send us a message via our website or Facebook page.
Bedford Fields has been designed and planted along permaculture principles and demonstrates a variety of forest gardening techniques, making it a fascinating educational resource for children and experienced gardeners alike. It is quite common to see vines climbing up trees and big narrow plants partnered with small bushy plants to create swathes of unbroken, almost weed-free plantings. In this way we make use of much more vertical space to get more yield, reduce maintenance time and build a more resilient and diverse garden. Healthy soil is also one of our top priorities and so we have created a carbon-rich soil full of worms, fungi and other beneficial microbes. For more information on forest gardening, please visit the Agroforestry Research Trust's website.
Permaculture is not just about making a fantastic garden, it's also about 'people care' and so we take extra care to make the garden a welcoming, safe space where anyone can contribute to the garden and where you can come any time to immerse yourself in the space. We organise tours, workshops, workdays and other events where further insights into this natural and sustainable art of gardening can be explored.
All the plants in the Bedford Fields Community Forest Garden are either edible, medicinal or useful in some way. Some of the edible perennial vegetables are unfamiliar and surprising – many commonly considered 'weeds', flowers, shoots, fungi, wild plants are perfectly edible and delicious. Most of the trees and shrubs in the gardens bear delicious fruits. You are welcome to harvest any time, being aware that it is for everyone to harvest from too.
The wildlife of the country increasingly depends on urban greenspaces for their survival. Bedford Fields has become an oasis for birds, and a rich seasonal feeding ground, with fruits and naturally balanced insect populations, not to mention the many animals that run and shelter in hedgerows. Guaranteed chemical-free resources like Bedford Fields support diversity and sustainability on every level and supports permaculture's three guiding principles - Earth Care, Fair Share and People Care.