RHS opens £100,000 community gardening grant programme

The RHS has opened up applications for the second of year of its grassroots gardening programme, with £100,000 available to community gardening projects in Yorkshire.

The scheme is one of two pilot projects which are enterting their second year, aimed at encouraging sustainable gardening. The other pilot is in Scotland and will open for grant applications later this year.

The Yorkshire fund, supported by Kärcher which is promoting a new watering range, offers grants of up to £10,000 to cover capital costs such as site-based improvement works including planting schemes with associated landscaping. Small grants up to £500 will cover set-up costs. 

As well as funding, the RHS regional development team, Libby Goodacre and Sarah-Jane Mason, both based at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate, will provide additional support and expertise.

One application picked at random will also win a visit from multi-RHS-medal winner and Kärcher watering range ambassador, Diarmuid Gavin, who will share gardening tips and present the group with new water-saving products worth hundreds of pounds. 

Gavin said: "This is an awesome venture that will ultimately help improve many people's lives, as well as the environment, and I'm so proud to be a part of it.

"In this climate, it can be a real struggle to find funding to support important projects, like the creation of allotments, transforming neglected land and creating sustainable planting schemes.

"A key aim of the scheme this year is to enable communities to garden more sustainably so we don't exhaust our natural resources like water, peat and fuel, and a key way of doing this is by managing water effectively.

"I've met so many gardeners who want to make changes to their current practices, such as switching from seasonal to sustainable planting, but they've been unable to for lack of funding and we want to change that." 

Last year, more than 100 communities applied for funding and support from the RHS, and 32 groups received grants of up to £8,000. Keighley homeless charity Keyhouse was awarded  £5,000 to help build a kitchen garden for its service-users.

Goodacre said: "We've received great feedback from communities who benefitted from the scheme last year and it has been fantastic to see the projects evolve."

The deadline for this year's applications for the RHS Kärcher Community Fund is March 14. Click here to apply.


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