A new community garden has opened on the Canterbury campus that is designed to become an outdoor space for staff, students and members of the local community to use for a range of activities.
The Kent Community Oasis Garden (KentCOG) is being developed by the University’s Student Wellbeing team in partnership with local charity Kent Enterprise Trust (KET).
The garden had previously been run by undergraduate students but is now being broadened in scope to become a collaborative space that anyone can get involved in, whether as an area to unwind and relax or to learn new skills, which is a key focus for KET and its volunteers.
To this end, the garden will provide the opportunity to take part in numerous seasonal initiatives, including growing plants, wildflowers and vegetables, as well as other related activities. The garden is located along the Crab and Winkle pathway to the far east of the Canterbury Campus past the Parkwood accommodation.
The garden is also benefitting in its design from input by Gardeners’ World expert Mark Lane, who lives locally and has provided his services free of charge. In particular, Mark is focusing on the accessibility of the space so that it will be available for as many people as possible to use in the future.
Richard Cottam, Head of Facilities Management in the University’s Estates Department, said: ‘The Kent Community Oasis Garden will provide a fun, engaging and educational space for anyone who wants to get involved and we are proud to be able to host it at the University. All are welcome and we hope as many people as possible will take part. We have big plans for the garden in the years ahead and are grateful to everyone who has helped out so far.’
Other organisations taking an active involvement in the garden are the Whitstable and Herne Bay Beekeepers group, as well as Kent Union and its student-run Gardening and Foraging Society.
More information on the garden can be found at the Kent Community Oasis Garden website. Plants have been donated to the garden by the Canterbury Chartham Wyevale Garden Centre and Vincent Nurseries in Herne Bay.
The launch of the garden also fits in with several of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals that the University has pledged to follow.