During the spring and summer of 2010 we took a derelict allotment and turned it into the Brandon Village Community Garden. The Garden is for the local community and visitors to the area. It is open for events and whenever a Garden volunteer is working in it.
Site leveling, digging the holes for water tanks and the pond and erecting the fences was carried out by landscape and construction experts, based in the village. The west wall was rebuilt by specialist stonemasons and the greenhouse was erected by its manufacturers. Everything else was done by the village residents (with a little help and instruction with the dry-stone wall). The garden was officially opened by City of Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods on September 30th 2010.
The garden is roughly square with an area of approximately 400 m2 and consists of beds for growing fruit, vegetables and flowers, a pond and wild area and a greenhouse.
The Garden has no water supply and no mains electricity. Rainwater is collected from the greenhouse roof and stored, underground, in two 1000 litre tanks. With a plan area approaching 33 square metres Durham’s average rainfall (643 mm) should yield 15 to 20 cubic metres of water a year. Two 220 watt solar (photovoltaic) panels charge two batteries to provide the power to pump water from the underground tanks to a header tank above ground (and the pond water feature and low-voltage LED lighting in the greenhouse).