Community Gardens Ireland End of Year Update 2021

Posted on: 18/12/2021
Community Gardens Ireland End of Year Update 2021
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It has been a busy 12 months at CG Ireland! We decided to put together a brief report detailing exactly what our committee have been up to in the 2021 Community Gardens Ireland End of Year Update:  

Supporting new and existing gardens 

We have been busy answering queries from new and existing gardens throughout Ireland in 2021!  There were over 66 queries received in 2021, from locations & groups such as Belfast, Clare,  Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Mayo, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath and  so many more! We also helped with giving advice on the set up of school gardens in numerous  locations and held discussions with Social Prescribing & Wellbeing Coordinators.  

If you have a query, get in contact at or check out our Facebook and Twitter accounts!  

New committee members 

In the first few months we welcomed new members to the Community Gardens Ireland committee,  including: Justyna Traore (Top of the City Community Garden, Waterford), Claire Lyons (Cherry Orchard Community Garden, Dublin 10), Órlaigh Sally (Co. Tyrone & Community Gardener), John Murphy (Co. Galway & Masters student) and Dónal McCormack (Blessington Allotments, Wicklow).  

National Survey 

In February 2021 we organised a national survey of all community growers signed up to Community  Gardens Ireland. Details of the report on the national survey is available here.  

AGM & Spring Virtual Gathering 

In March 2021 we held an online AGM which had over 90 registrations signing up for the event. The  event was opened by Minister for Heritage & Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD and included a  report out on the national survey, along with updates from gardens throughout the country. We also  received a presentation from Irish Seed Savers encouraging community gardens to grow and save heritage seeds.

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Throughout the year we have been busy contributing to consultations, making submissions and  highlighting that more support and an improved policy framework is required to encourage more  community growing spaces. Consultations we contributed to during the year include:  

  • Pre-budget submission to the Joint Committee on Social  Protection, Community & Rural Development & the Islands .
  • Food Ombudsperson Consultation  
  • Climate Action Plan, 2021 consultation (Ireland)  
  • Climate Change Bill, 2021 consultation (Northern Ireland)  
  • Community Foundation Fund, in partnership with Social  Farms and Gardens Northern Ireland (grant application)  
  • Climate Change Bill, 2021 consultation (Northern Ireland)  
  • Public Consultation on the environmental assessment of the  
  • Draft CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 

We also attended food and community-based webinars and web conferences in 2021, including the Seasons Pace event hosted by DCU. Throughout the year we have also been in contact with Senators, TDs and MEPs about proposed changes needed in Ireland.

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Oireachtas Presentation 

In May 2021, committee members Maeve Foreman and Dónal McCormack presented on behalf of  Community Gardens Ireland to the Joint Committee on Social Protection, Community & Rural  Development & the Islands. We called for a specific funding scheme to be set up to support  community growing spaces in urban areas (similar to the CLÁR scheme in rural areas), along with a  capital budget to be set aside for the purchase of land in local authorities. We believe the availability  of a fund to aid in the purchasing of land by local authorities would be of particular benefit in more  developed urban areas.  

Details of our presentation and submission are available here.

Autumn Gathering in Waterford 

In September 2021 we held our Autumn Gathering in Top of the City Community Garden in Waterford. From here we visited a local market garden, Grow HQ, Solar Cancer Support Garden, and Ferrybank Allotments. It was an excellent day of networking and discussing about the current needs for community growing spaces in Waterford.  

Details of the event are available here

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Community Foundation Ireland in partnership with Social Farms and Gardens Northern  Ireland (grant application)  

In autumn 2021, we received some excellent news – our grant application in partnership with Social Farms and Gardens Northern Ireland was successful! Our joint project (Growing Resilience Across  Ireland – GRÁ Ireland) is intended as a networking opportunity for both SFGNI and CGI, and has so  far proven excellent in discussing common challenges, approaches and opportunities for learning. 

Both CGI and SFGNI met in Ballybough Community Centre in November 2021, with a visit to Mud  Island Community Garden afterwards. We have lots of plans for 2022, so watch this space!  

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All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021 Annual Review 

We recently gave an update for the work we have completed as part of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021 Annual Review. We are proud of our work supporting the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan at an all-Ireland level, and can point to activities we have completed this year such as climate  consultations in Ireland and Northern Ireland as evidence of this.  

Details of our update and other companies are available on the AIPP website here. 

What’s next in 2022?  

In recent weeks we have been preparing specific proposals for where we believe change is needed for how community growing spaces are delivered for every community in Ireland. We have not yet  published our report on this but hope to do so in the coming weeks.  

We also have some potential networking opportunities available in 2022 that we are currently exploring.  

Community Gardens Ireland is a purely volunteer-led organisation. If you are a community grower  and want to get involved or want to find out more, get in contact at or check out  our Facebook and Twitter accounts!  

Also, check out the Community Gardens map of Ireland – is your local garden on it? If not, see here to add it!  

Let’s Get Growing! – Community Gardens Ireland

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