The Edible Garden at FCH campus is a vibrant green space where students and members of the local community come together to grow fruit and vegetables. Relaxed weekly gardening sessions provide time for people to connect with each other and the natural world.

The garden also hosts occasional events, and over the past year these have included:


  • A community seed sowing and shared lunch event for Plant and Share month.
  • A workshop where students learnt how to grow mushrooms in logs.
  • An open garden slot as part of Cheltenham Heritage Open Days.
Students attending a mushroom workshop

The garden is a haven for wildlife, and this year an MSc student set up equipment to investigate the small mammals and moths that come into the garden at night. The garden was also one of the many places that had its butterflies counted as part of the Big Butterfly Count. Illustrations students used the garden to engage with plants from an artistic perspective.

Getting one’s hands dirty in beautiful surroundings offers students an important opportunity to reconnect with the natural world. Edible Garden coordinator Daud McDonald and several students were interviewed on BBC Radio Gloucestershire about the mental health benefits of gardening and its role in the cost of living crisis

The garden is a unique place on FCH campus because it brings students and members of the local community together through gardening. Enjoying the fruits of our work is important, but so are the connections and friendships that have been created in the garden over the past fifteen years.

Rowan Middleton

FCH Edible Garden Volunteer and Senior Lecturer in Creative English Literature, University of Gloucestershire

As the weather gets warmer, the team will be busy sowing and planting out seedlings for the new season’s crops. If you’d like to keep up to date with future news and events, follow the FCH Edible Garden Facebook page