During the last ten years the Edward Kemp Community Garden and Growing Area has become a great success for the Friends of Birkenhead Park. Created under a project drawn up by Park Roots Community Interest Company, the trading arm of the Friends of Birkenhead, it has created several community plots and a community garden designed to enable youth groups, schoolchildren, and members of local residents’ associations to learn about flora and fauna, and to grow their own flowers, fruit, and vegetables. It has become an important centre for learning and practising key horticultural skills. It now boasts a sensory garden, a small orchard, a natural well, and has become a real community asset for the people of Birkenhead and further afield.
On a cold, wet and windy day in March 2011 six volunteers under the guidance of Sheila Blair ventured onto the site and started digging out the first plots.
Five plots were initially stripped of turf and dug over for the Friends to pilot the growing areas over the summer whilst a grant application was submitted to the Local Food Grant.
In October 2011 the FOBP received confirmation of a £95k grant to be spent over two years. The next month saw local community groups visiting the site, choosing their plots, and receiving their keys. The Edward Kemp project was “Growing with the Community”!
Ten years on and the project has, like its plants, blossomed and bloomed into what we see today, a vibrant asset to the community. This was recognised by a visit from Deputy Lord-Lieutenants John Roberts Dr Nicholas Jedynakiewicz.