Eglinton Community Garden is a thriving, collaborative greenspace located between Irvine and Kilwinning that hosts a range of Third Sector programmes aimed at supporting local people through gardening, growing and outdoor education. The North Ayrshire Ranger service work closely alongside The Ayrshire Community Trust, Positive Steps, Alcohol and Drug Partnership, Turning Point Scotland Prevention, Early Intervention and Recover, Equal Supported Employment (you can read about the support they’ve had here!), New Scots groups, and the Conservation Volunteers.

An ongoing need is for fresh, high quality compost to sustain the many groups across the site. With four new groups attending the gardens this year, teams have been busily creating new raised beds using leftover timber from a previous project…however there was no compost to fill them! The groups who are growing on site are restricted to raised beds and unable to grow vegetables in the ground due to a low-level contamination, meaning that without a supply of compost, vegetable seedlings could not be planted out.  The groups had managed to purchase 6 tonnes of compost but this did not stretch very far, and remaining funding is limited.

The skip full of compost arrives on site

Lowmac Alloys, based in Irvine, have a waste management contract with North Ayrshire Council. They got in touch to see whether they could donate compost to a community group: a perfect fit with the needs of the garden. Within a day of getting in touch, Lowmac and the garden had arranged a day and a time, and a skip full of compost to be delivered for free. Robert Hall, Director of Lowmac, said that the group were “a pleasure to deal with”, and Lowmac will keep in touch with the garden about any potential future support they may be able to offer.

Linda (Countryside Ranger) with the staff from Lowmac who made the delivery to the garden. The donation will benefit a wide range of groups supporting people from across North Ayrshire through growing.

Linda Tedford, the Countryside Ranger who oversees the work at the community garden, reflected that the “support from Lowmac was incredibly efficient and timely.  We needed compost for our new groups to be able to start their projects off and plant their vegetable seedlings in a timely manner to get the most our of the growing season.

However, the quantity that Lowmac were able to offer meant that compost was available to be shared to the other established groups on site as a way of refreshing their growing beds.  This will not only save money next growing season but will give the groups a head start next year.” Volunteers on site are delighted with the quantity and quality of the donated compost, with one remarking that “the veggies will love this”: an excellent outcome for growers and crops alike!

If your business would like to support the fantastic things happening at Eglinton Community Garden, we’d love to hear from you! They are also looking for help with other things on site, such as the removal of old tyres and mini digger hire to help get electricity on site. You can find out more by looking at their wishes here, or contact us by email communitybenefits@north-ayrshire.gov.uk