Horfield and District Allotments Association

The lottery Funded project


The Forest Garden Project – Lottery Funded


Lucy Mitchell has been appointed to manage the project


Background information


Horfield and District Allotment Association has established a new community growing project, with funding from The Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food programme and Bristol City Council’s Green Capital Programme. The project is funded until March 2014, and will create a community allotment and forest garden accessible to volunteers and community groups.


The aim of the project is to increase the skills and confidence of local people in growing food through volunteering and training. There is an emphasis on involving people with physical and/or mental ill-health and people with learning difficulties.


The project site is being developed accessibly. Our aim is to enable people with mental and physical health problems, or those with learning difficulties, and their carers, to benefit fully from the project - joining in with food growing, taking up learning opportunities, and experiencing the restorative enjoyment of being in an outdoor natural environment.


The project outcomes include:

• 5 community groups/organisations using the allotment and forest garden in the first year, increasing to 10 organisations in the second year and 15 in the third year

• 15 volunteers using the allotment and forest garden in the first year of the project, increasing to 25 in the second and third years

• introduce 10 new people to allotment gardening through 10 starter plots per year

• 3 food growing training events open to the public run during the second and third years of the project

• 2 community events open to the public run per year.



Horfield and District Allotment Association is a busy and productive association, which leases three separate sites from Bristol City Council, spread over two or three miles. The project site is located on allotments in a densely populated residential area, bordered on one side by Horfield Prison and Bishop Road Primary School.


The allotment association is run independently from the local authority, with an established voluntary management committee. The community project is managed by a project management group, who are all volunteers, members of the association and plot holders.


How the project will operate

The project worker will be employed throughout the year, working primarily on site during the growing season, and working primarily from home on outreach work during the quieter months. We anticipate that the project will be open to the public for 15 hours a week during the growing season (March – October), with reduced opening hours in winter.



A forest garden rather confusingly isn't much of a forest or a garden.

The first thing to note is that every plant included in it has a function other than the aesthetic. In the case of the Horfield forest garden, every plant will provide food in some way, whether it is fruit, leaves, roots, flowers or stems.

All plants will be perennials, meaning that they will stay where they are planted providing a crop year after year. This means that soil cultivation, sowing, planting and a lot of weeding is not required every year - a system of growing food completely opposite to the traditional allotment.

Plants are selected according to their likes and dislikes e.g. sun / shade and arranged in the planting scheme to reflect this. Trees are the uppermost canopy with shrubs underneath and in the gaps between them. Below the shrubs will be a ground cover canopy - completing a woodland-like appearance and, crucially, replicating how plants grow in a natural setting.


At Horfield site, we have a very small area (less that one acre) so the choice of plants is limited. For example, there isn't the space for large trees. Also to get as many species in as possible, we can't repeat plants.

With the area cleared and covered, planting of the trees and shrubs should take place this November. Ground cover plants, many of which are shade lovers, will be propagated in the spring and planted out later when the upper canopies are in leaf and have started to fill out. It will be several years before a complete cover is achieved.


The garden will demonstrate what plants can grown for food other than the conventional ones, also it will be a ready supply of propagation material. Many of the plants have ornamental value as well as being perfect for wildlife.





Name Botanical Name Dimensions (hxs) metres Sun, Part, Shade No. Notes

Rubus nepalensis Creeping Sh 2 Propagate

Ground Nut Apios americana Climber 2m 3 N

Perennial Broccoli Brassica oleracea ‘Nine Star’ Seed

Seakale Crambe maritima 0.6 Seed

Day Lily Hemerocallis ‘Red Rum’ 0.4 S 3

Sweet Cecily Myrrhis odorata 0.4 P Seed

Partridge berry Mitchelia repens Sh 3 E

Creeping dogwood Cornus canadensis Sh 3 Propagate

Japanese spurge Pachysandra terminalis Sh 3 Propagate

Spikenards Smilacena racemosa Sh 3

Mint Mentha P Propagate

Ramsons Allium ursium Sh Propagate

Quamash Camassia quamash P 3

Comfrey Symphytum xuplandicum P 7 Propagate




Name Botanical Name Dimensions (hxs) metres Sun, Part, Shade No. Notes

A Blue Honeysuckle Lonicera caerula edulis 1.5 x 1.5 P 3

B            “ Lonicera caerula kamchatka’Blue Velvet’       “ P 3

C Strawberry Guava Ugni molinae 1.5 x 1 S 2 E

D Chokeberry Aronia ‘Nero’ 3 x 2.5 Sh 1

E Eleagnus umbellata ‘Big Red’, ‘Newgate’ 5 x 5 Sh 1

F Fuchsia Fuchsia magellanica ‘Globosa’ 0.6 x 1 P 3

G Goji Berry Lycium barbarum 3 x ? S 1

H Kiwi Actinidia ‘Boskoop’ Climber S 1

I Pineapple Guava Acca sellowiana 2 x 2 S 1 E

J Saskatoon Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Martin’, ‘Northline’ 3 x 2 P 2

K Oregon Grape Mahonia aquifolium 1 x 1 Sh 3 E

L           “ Mahonia repens 1 x 1 Sh 3 E

1 Bamboo Semiarundinaria fastuosa 6 S 2 E shoots, canes

2      “ Phyllostachys viridiglaucescens 6-8 S 2 E     “

3      “ Pseudosasa japonica 5 S 2 E     “

M Elderberry Sambucus nigra ‘Samidan’ Compact shrub Sh 1

N        “ Sambucus racemosa 3 x 3 Sh 1

O Barberry Berberis koreana ‘Rubin’ 2 x 2 P 1

P Ostrich Fern Matteucia struthiopteris Sh 3

Q Goumi Eleagnus multiflora ‘Sweet Scarlet’ 2 x 2 S/Sh 1