Community Gardens and Gardening

There is a huge range of volunteer opportunities across Bristol, think carefully about what you want to offer – time, skills or knowledge, and what you want to get out of it – produce, keeping fit, making friends. Volunteering should be fun and worthwhile, if you don’t enjoy your first experience try a different garden, there are plenty to choose from!

Explore this map to find local gardens and how you can get involved.

Incredible Edible Bristol

Incredible Edible Bristol offers an easy way to get started with growing. There’s no membership, no contract or tenancy, you can learn from others as you go, and you still get a share of the harvest. Incredible Edible Bristol grow food in small community patches, in front gardens, alongside roads, outside the shops – wherever there’s a bit of space. Anyone is free to harvest the food – all you’re asked to do is to wait till the crops are properly ready, not to take everything in one go!, and to replace a little. Find out how to get started, or where the nearest patch is to you.

Orchards

If only have a few spare hours a year and you like fruit get involved with a Community Orchard and share the harvest. Learn more about pruning and maintaining fruit trees, harvesting and all important cider making!

Explore this map to find out where your local Community Orchards are, and how you can get involved.

City Farms

Learn about small scale agriculture and animal husbandry. Generally city farms offer well organised volunteer opportunities and are a good place to build your skills

Explore this map to find out where your local City Farms are, and how you can get involved.

Transition groups

Are working to raise awareness of Climate Change and Peak Oil and the impact both will have on our lives. Transition community groups are seeking to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by promoting sustainable lifestyles including local resilient food production.

  • Bristol Transition: The first stop to get informed on the news and update of Transition Bristol Groups is this website. A regularly updated list of events such as workshops, talks and generally goings on in Bristol including news from many of Bristol’s different Transition Groups.
  • Sustainable Redland: Volunteer days organised in local community gardens and orchards. There are also opportunities for involvement in a wide range of low carbon initiatives.
  • Transition Montpelier Growing Group: Volunteer opportunities to improve the Montpelier area with tree planting and other ‘urban greening’ projects.
  • Sustainable Westbury on Trym: SusWoT have developed several growing projects, raising around 2,000 veg plants each year for sale, creating veg seed packs tailored especially for small gardens, trialling different wormeries and developing the lovely Stoke Lane Community Garden.
  • Sustainable Thornbury: We want to be more energy efficient, and generate more of our energy locally. We want to grow more food locally and to eat more local food. We want to waste less and use more locally produced goods. We want a strong community that feels able to do things for itself. The group runs a community orchard.
  • Sustainable Southville look after several mini plots through the area, including some which grow fruit and a mini orchard tucked behind North Street. The Patchwork BS3 group meets for monthly social gardening sessions.

Non-Growing Food Opportunities

If you’re passionate about helping but not gardening, help is needed advertising, organising websites and events and running many projects.

  • Fare Share: FareShare volunteer work include assisting office work, sorting food, compiling schedules for drivers and driving. There are also opportunities to research at home, or fundraise.
  • Bristol Wood Recycling Project: There are lots of different tasks for volunteers at the wood project, in the first few weeks things are kept simple, with general wood cleaning, and grading and helping the drivers collect the wood. If you volunteer for longer, then angle grinding and sanding wood are common jobs, and wood work creating shelving and furniture. Expenses for lunch can be claimed.
  • Matthew Tree Project: The Matthew Tree Project relies on volunteers to do what it does and is currently utilising over 300 volunteer hours per week, on average, to fulfil its obligations. Volunteers are needed to help with food appeal collections, and to assist FOOD PLUS clients. See the website for current opportunities.
  • Bristol Volunteering opportunities, also Do-It and Project Dirt, EcoJam and neighbourly