The gardens are a splash of colour beside the railway station, brightening the daily commute for many people. We also provide a haven for wildlife including badgers, foxes, hedgehogs, rabbits, frogs, newts, slow worms, birds, bees and countless other insects; part of our mission is to provide the best possible habitat for them.
We share excess produce with the café at St Sidwell’s. Our gardeners also lend a hand on other local projects such as the planting on St James Station, and Queens Crescent Gardens.
Plots are available to residents of St James, who are also willing to help with the overall improvement and upkeep of the site. We ask applicants to join plot-holders to help out on two sessions before they are considered for a plot, and to continue to join working parties thereafter. Plot-holders are encouraged to support the group’s community activities.
If you would like to join us, either as a plotholder, or by helping out as a volunteer,
please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
History of St James Vegetable Gardens
The site has long been cultivated, perhaps as far back as 1906, when the railway first came to Exeter. Today it is owned by Network Rail and managed by the St James Vegetable Gardens group with the support of St Sidwell’s Community Centre. We are also members of the National Allotment Society.
In recent years, the site had become run down, but the St James Vegetable Gardens Society is in the process of turning it around. The signing of the site lease at the end of last year was a vital step forward: since then we have been able to bring new people in to tend neglected plots and realise the full potential of the site.
The Gardens are much loved by commuters, residents and gardeners in the community. Since 2014, we have been assessed as part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s “It’s Your Neighbourhood” awards, and in 2016 and 2017 attained their “thriving” level, one below their highest level.