Joe Swift, Ali Vowles, BBC, Potterne, Celebratory community garden

The BBC Celebratory Community Garden in Wiltshire

On July 25, 2017 0 Comment(s)

The BBC Celebratory Community Garden in Wiltshire has been a long time in the planning! The selection process started at the beginning of 2017 but I began talking to the BBC about how this project might be delivered almost a year ago.

Well the celebratory garden is underway and it’s in the large rural village of Potterne in Wiltshire.

But what are they celebrating? Well this year marks 60 years since the first local regional TV news Points West programme went out. It also is 50 years since the first BBC2 Gardeners World programme was broadcast.

So, these are big landmarks and they need to be celebrated! They could have thrown a big party, put up a plaque or even a statue but the BBC felt that they should mark this with something that benefitted a community and had a lasting legacy.  It was decided to find a community that wanted a bit of help in getting a garden underway. That community needed to demonstrate it could be drawn together by creating a celebratory community garden and that they would look after it in the future.

Potterne has an excellent site and a start had already made. But over time the impetus was lost and they lacked some of the skills needed. So, with the help of BBC2 Gardeners World presenters Joe Swift and Flo Headlam the creation of the celebratory community garden is underway. Some of this can be viewed on the Gardeners World edition 18 that is broadcast on Friday July 28th at 21.00hrs. There will also be a feature in the earlier BBC1 Points West programme that evening.

Here’s what the BBC had to say about this project –

BBC Points West and Gardeners’ World to transform Potterne Community Garden

The Wiltshire village of Potterne, near Devizes, has been selected by BBC Points West and Gardeners’ World to have a community garden created as part of the programmes’ anniversary celebrations. 

Bristol based Gardeners’ World is celebrating its 50th anniversary and BBC Points West is marking sixty years since the first BBC regional television news service was launched here in the West.

Steve Dewar, Senior Rural Parish Youth Worker says: “What an absolute surprise…but an amazing and pleasant one. This is an opportunity for the village to identify and explore its strengths through this gardening project that will have a lasting impact. It’s a joy to be part of something that allows residents to develop, experience new things, share their lives with others and build a stronger community together. I am still shocked but excited at the possibilities this will raise! We can’t wait to welcome the BBC to Potterne.”

celebratory community garden, joe swift, bbc, potterne, garden
A very wet Joe Swift tackles a very neglected willow sculpture.

Joe Swift, Gardeners’ World presenter, says: “I’m really excited about the Gardeners’ World legacy garden. I’ve been involved in a few community gardens over the years and love the way they bring people of all ages and backgrounds together and enable those who don’t have a garden of their own to get growing. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate 50 years of Gardeners World, a programme that’s inspired millions of people to garden and I’m looking forward to helping out in any way I can. “


Joe Swift, Ali Vowles, BBC, Potterne, Celebratory community garden
Joe Swift and Ali Vowles prepare to record a piece to camera under very difficult weather conditions

Ali Vowles, BBC Wiltshire and BBC Points West presenter says: “We can’t wait to get started here at BBC Points West and BBC Wiltshire!  We are going to be following the project every step of the way – and finding out the stories behind the people who get involved with this community project.”  



celebratory community garden, flo headlam, alan down, potterne, bbc
Flo Headlam and Alan Down at Potterne

Flo Headlam, Gardeners’ World presenter says: “I’m looking forward to working with the community in Potterne and helping them to transform this plot into a space of beauty and activity.”

The transformation will take place throughout the summer with the help of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and local gardening expert, Alan Down. This community project will be featured on BBC Points West, Gardeners’ World and BBC Local Radio.


Media coverage of the celebratory community garden will continue on Gardeners World, Points West and BBC Radio Wiltshire as the project develops reaching a crescendo in early September 2017.

If you live near Potterne and have the time, why not volunteer to help build this celebratory community garden?

celebratory community garden, bbc, vegetables, garden, potterne
Autumn and winter vegetables destined to go in the Potterne Celebratory Community Garden

We will be providing expert advice and supplying some of the plants for this celebratory community garden from our own nursery.

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