I have been running community gardens in Somerset since 2015. Some are on local authority land, others owned by public institutions and corporate bodies. More sites are being acquired, under the social enterprise name Somerset Community Gardening. Although we readily set up sites ourselves, the main aim is to support local communities to run their own projects in the most effective ways. Thus we have plant nursery and market garden sites being developed to serve these local site management groups in material ways.
Once a surveyor (and now actively retired) I am a horticulturalist, a plantsman, and a garden and landscape designer, have run an organic market garden, set up plant nurseries, managed a rural estate, and also school grounds, and am a keen ecologist and environmentalist. I am also very familiar with permaculture principles and practice. I am also a trained adult education teacher, and passionately keen to set up learning opportunities for all ages and abilities. I am currently, for example, spending a little time mentoring a colleague in South Africa, who is coaching a cohort of 50 young people from all over Africa in how to create sustainable production in their home environments when they return to those after a year of outdoor learning experience.