Park plot to stay

Looks like B&NES have had a change of heart over their original intention to move a vegetable plot feature on the slopes of a Bath public park.

The aptly-called Vegmead Community Group packed out the public gallery at this week’s Council meeting to hear  Honorary Alderman David Dixon question the wisdom of removing a community group from the city’s  Hedgemead Park.

The Vegmead Plot campaigners joined others -protesting against the East of Bath Park and Ride – outside the Guildhall this week. © Joseph Lavington

Quoting the 3000 volunteer hours invested in the site since its inception in 2011, David asked why, in light of a difficult funding climate, this level of community investment would be removed.

Citing the claims made by the Parks Department, that the site didn’t look attractive he stated it was unfair of the Department to have visited the site in February when most green spaces aren’t looking their best.

When asked by a Councillor if he could confirm that Vegmead was staying in Hedgemead Park Tim Warren, Council Leader replied ‘yes’.

The pop up produce stall outside the Bath Guildhall. © Joseph Lavington

Before the meeting began the group set up a pop up produce stall outside the Guildhall and gave away vegetables and fruit to passing members of the public. They were also joined by supporters and spoke to numerous passersby about the Save Vegmead campaign.

The vegetable plot in Hedgemead Park

Vegmead Community Group had received information in the days prior to the meeting that the Council were having a re-think about removing Vegmead, but no direct word from the Council had been received.

In light of this they attended the meeting in person to hear the news first hand. They are awaiting a meeting date from the Council to discuss their plans for Vegmead’s future.

Smiles all round from the Vegmead Community Group – Beth, Tim, Jo, Alastair, Adam, Jon, Tom, Emma, Jodie, Oli, Nat, Helena & Sara © Joseph Lavington

The Council have added a caveat stating that Vegmead can stay if the site is deemed a ‘success’. It’s not yet clear how the Council are defining success at Vegmead but the last seven  weeks of campaigning have proved what a success it already is.

The huge amount of support given to the group since the launch of the campaign 7 weeks ago has been phenomenal. Local newspapers, radio and television have helped raise the campaigns profile.

Seventy seven local people have provided written testimonials of support and community organisations, local businesses, gardening groups and charities have spoken out against the Council’s original decision to move it.