Birmingham’s first Big Dig Day

Saturday March 16th saw the first ‘Big Dig Day’ in Birmingham. Across the weekend, over 30 grow sites, allotments & community gardens opened their doors to all.

Although the weather forecast was non-too hopeful, groups all around the city put this aside, and welcomed new and existing volunteers to many varied and fun events.

Visiting my first event of the day, I arrived at Edible Eastside, to be met by Jayne & Rob.  Lizzie Bean soon arrived and work began in earnest on the next stages of the earth oven.

Despite the rain, volunteers soon started to arrive, and with a fire lit, and work underway, I took my leave to visit Park Lane Garden Centre in Aston for the second stop of the day.

Park Lane were beginning their work on a new community garden next door, and as well as welcoming volunteers, Julia took time to show Clare Savage and I the plans and setting for the new garden.

Park Lane Garden centre is such a fantastic resource for community groups, great value, and almost unique in the inner city.  Plans for this year include growing vegetable plants to order for community groups.  At a fantastic price too!!

Leaving Park Lane, the next stop for the day was Bishop Latimer Grow Site in Soho.  Here we met with Adela, Andrew and their volunteers.  The group had so many activities taking place, including building a willow arch, and the setting for their new woodland walk.


The sun came out, and it showed signs of being a lovely warm afternoon.  At Bishop Latimer, I met with John, who had recently moved to Birmingham, and had used Big Dig as an opportunity to get involved in local groups in his new area…….just fantastic…this is what Big Dig is all about.

After some fantastic food, provided by  Mammas Blessing, we left a sunny Bishop Latimer for our next stop of the day.

Close to Bishop Latimer is Coplow Street Grow Site, here over 30 volunteers were weeding raised beds, planting, drinking soup and learning about growing in the new polytunnel.

A real community event, with visitors from near and far. It was great to see familiar faces at Coplow Street, as well as some new ones, at the Big Dig event, which was also part of an ongoing partnership with the Black Environment Network.




Final stop of the day, and just in time was Martineau Gardens, who were holding a seed swap event for Big Dig Day.  All thought the event had gone very well, and was attended by over 60 volunteers.

Although by now the rain had started in earnest, it was great to see so many happy smiling volunteers, and some great events.

A full list of the sites involved can be seen at

Keep your eyes open for dates of Big Dig events throughout the year, and our Big Urban Harvest Gathering in September.

3 Responses to Birmingham’s first Big Dig Day

  1. tony Turpin says:

    Hi, i work for B.C.C at cofton nursery. we have some surplus/used plastic that we use on our polytunnels.

    will they be of any use for your allotments/sites. There would be no charge.

    the pieces are very large but folded up they would fit in a car or van.

    if you would like to give me a call ( but not tomorrow as i have leave) if you are interested on 0121 453 1044

    regards, Tony

  2. Jan Tchamani says:

    Brandwood & Cocksmoor Sheltered Housing Scheme aka GROVE ROAD COMMUNITY GARDEN had a brilliant day last Saturday. Undeterred by the rain, we got out into the garden and met all our targets for tasks to wake up the garden and move things forward. Jericho Foundation helped with a raised veg bed and some RSPB-standard bird and bat boxes, Spring to Life CIC did some amazing work helping us protect our Jubilee Hedge saplings (trampled over the winter by passing peasantry), getting seeds potted up, etc. Mark Stammers, our amazing photo-/videographer/artist made a film of the day as well as taking photos, along with committee member Derek. The sun came out for us (eventually), helpers and volunteers came and stayed – and even made us cups of tea and vegeburgers! – and there was a tremendous feeling of solidarity and mutual enjoyment of the outdoors, and green productivity. This week I’m focusing on being the new Age UK Internet Champion. Without the internet I wouldn’t have been able to find out about/link us with urban food growing! All the best, Jan Tchamani

  3. […] spin-off Growing Birmingham, now a lively working committee not only brought The Big Dig to Birmingham, they are also showcasing the social impact of our numerous growing sites across the […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: