The Willowbank Community Garden is a council-maintained recreational area consisting of both turfed and concreted areas and waist raised beds, edged by some shrubs and trees. Its is a small space (460 sqm.) but offers a variety of growing environments. The site is located within the residential community of Willowbank Crescent, easy accessible from Woodlands Road and a five-minutes walk away from the Glasgow University main buildings. Local schools are also in close proximity.

Site plan.

Over the last two years students at Glasgow University have taken guardianship of the recreational space on Willowbank Crescent in Woodlands by clearing the space of litter and unwanted items.  This has been made possible by co-ordinating with ECAT officer Yusuf Faisal. In 2012 the space won a Keep Scotland Beautiful Award through the People and Places Programme.

In May 2012 we hosted our first Open Day which turned out into a nice relaxed Saturday afternoon in the garden accompanied by delicious homemade food, music and enthusiastic people sharing their ideas.

Open Day #01.

Over the more quiet academic break of Summer 2012, a small group met regularly to receive soil, compost and raise bed deliveries. 

Sunday work sessions.

During our Sunday work sessions we arranged the raised beds, filled them up with soil and compost, started tatsoy, spring onion, red Russian kale, spinach beet, Chinese sprouting cabbage seedlings in seed trays; planted  strawberries, sage, mint, lemongrass, gojan berry, wild thyme, lovage, fennel, cowberry and rhubarb; turned drawers into planting boxes. Through these work sessions we also got in contact with a couple of Willowbank residents and we learned how the site is used by them, which will be important for the garden's future layout. 

In addition to our on-site activities, the Willowbank Garden folk already participated in various local food related activities for networking. We visited and talked to the people from Woodlands Community Garden, The Hidden Gardens and the Greyfriars Garden, joined the Glasgow Blasda 2012 networking event, volunteered at Woodlands Harvest 2012, helped picking apples with Abundance Glasgow and hosted a stall at the SRC Fresher's Fair so far.

Willowbank days out.


Our mission is to demonstrate sustainable practice by turning a recreational area into a productive food growing space where people can gather to acquire and exchange knowledge.


Let’s put our face on the food
Produce our own homegrown, heirloom, seasonal and fresh food. Guarantee a food growing space close to University that students can use regardless of how often they change accommodation each academic year. Develop a new ethic towards food and its production considering the environmental impact of the food we eat. Build more awareness, knowledge and support for a local food system in Glasgow.
Let’s gather
To engage with the local community of students, staff and local residents. Connect students and the public community behind the common cause of growing food. Bring together diverse groups.
Provide an outdoor retreat from busy everyday life for congregation and respite that is open and accessible to every member of the academic and public community.
Let’s demonstrate
A demonstration site for sustainable practice. Advance the practice of sustainable behaviour of students and public community by providing an informal outdoor classroom facility. A teaching tool for sustainability that contributes to University of Glasgow’s path down towards greater sustainable performance.
Let’s learn
Offer informal, experiential learning practice through hands on experiences. Explore, experiment, and develop creative approaches to solve real world problems on the micro scale of your neighbourhood.
Exchange and share knowledge across generations. Educate a new generation of organic gardeners, preserve and teach traditional skills and knowledge from back in the day for the future.
Let’s localize
Build up a closed loop system of resources: Harvest – compost – recycle.
Reconnect people to their food source, nature and to place, let them become part of the food system. Purchase locally as often as possible to support local business and build up a local network.
Let’s deindustrialize
Demonstrate a creative approach of reducing waste through practices of recycling, reusing and upcycling and composting. Promote the organic agriculture paradigm, teach healthy nutrition.
Let’s take care
Take responsibility and care of the site.


We, the Root Group, are currently ca. 12 Glasgow University students and Willowbank residents who are in charge of developing, maintaining and managing the garden. We run regular gardening meetings - called Sunday work sessions - for weekly maintenance and development. In addition, we plan to offer day long workshops during the next growing season for purposes of education and training and also to complete larger tasks where both students and members of the local community are involved.

[ last updated 30.10.2012 ] ::