Smallfield Community Art Garden
Smallfield Community Art Garden is a new initiative to support the Health and Wellbeing of the residents of Smallfield. The project has been developed by Tandridge Trust Leisure & Culture Ltd, with Burstow Parish Council and funding from Tandridge District Council. The garden provides a new community gathering space for all generations. The project aims to offer practical ways for residents to stay active and healthy, to learn new skills and to enjoy working and creating together in an inspirational and therapeutic way.
How did it all Begin?
This is the second Vitamin G Community Art Garden Tandridge Trust have created, their first in Caterham winning a National Sporta UK Award. This time we recruited Becci Kenning as Artistic Project Manager for the Project. Becci is a Surrey based Visual Artist who’s practice includes working within communities, to create inspiring collective art works. On 10th January 2017 local residents got to come along to a community meeting led by Becci Kenning to learn more about the project and have their input on what they would like to see in the garden.
From these initial community consultations two garden designs came forward and were put out to local vote in February 2017. The community voted with a land slide win of Garden B:
Throughout March, April and May local volunteers gathered to help build the new Vitamin G Smallfield Community Art Garden. Local businesses came on board donating items for the garden, providing diggers and giving up their time. Burstow Primary School children built the large bug houses and grew and planted Nasturtiums, which once in full bloom will add a sea of colour to the garden. There was real community spirit in action. Without everyone getting involved, the garden would not be the new exciting community space that it has grown to be.
Here are some of our volunteers and progress made on the volunteering ‘build days’ in March and April:
On Friday 19th May the Community gathered for Reverend Nicholas Calver to officially open the garden. The local volunteers, businesses and the community of Smallfield gathered to raise a glass and officially celebrate their new community space. The garden has been driven by some key people; local artist Becci Kenning was commissioned to work with the local community to design and build the garden. Darren Thomas, Master Craftsman supported the build craftsmanship which has gone in to the garden. Burstow Parish Council and Jeannie Ryan, Parish Clerk to Burstow Parish Council have led the project locally. Jeannie’s tireless drive, enthusiasm and ability to rally the community around to support the garden has been invaluable to the success of this project.
Smallfield Community Art Garden is open everyday for all to enjoy and is located at:
Smallfield Centenary Hall, Wheelers Lane, Smallfield, RH6 9PT.