The National Garden Scheme Community Gardens Award

Applications will be considered for funding in February 2020, and the closing date for applications is 31 December 2019. 

The National Garden Scheme Community Gardens Award

In 2011 the National Garden Scheme set up an award programme in memory of Elspeth Thompson, the much-loved garden writer and journalist who died in 2010.

The award scheme provides funding for amateur gardeners from community groups to create a garden or similar project (such as an allotment). This project should have horticultural focus and aim to bring a community together by being a space people can share, by the acquisition and sharing of gardening knowledge and skills and by inspiring a love of gardening.

Applications will be considered for funding in February 2020, and the closing date for applications is 31 December 2019.  All applications are considered on their individual merits. No fixed amount is set but individual award amounts do not usually exceed £5,000. Funding could cover, for example, site preparation (including hire of small mechanical tools), hand tools, plants, trees, shrubs, containers and seating.

To submit a project for consideration, applicants can download an application form and supporting guidelines from .

On completing the form, as well as setting out the project scope, applicants need to provide a detailed breakdown of costs, any other funding sources, and an indication of the area of the proposed site, and also include clear drawings and/or photographs showing the proposed project site.  Failure to provide any of these may result in an application not being considered by the awards panel.

Completed application forms and any accompanying material such as photographs and drawings can be emailed to [email protected]. Alternatively, they can be posted to Doug Copeland, Wickets, Langley Upper Green, Essex CB11 4RY.

All enquiries can be sent directly to [email protected], the award scheme supervisor.

Story by: Carol Allen M: 07368 238528  e: [email protected]


Elspeth Thompson National Garden Scheme Community Gardens Award
Elspeth Thompson

Elspeth was a great friend and supporter of the National Garden Scheme and  wrote an admired ‘Urban Gardener’ column in the Sunday Telegraph. Her column often celebrated community gardens and so the awards available are to support gardening projects carried out within local communities all over England and Wales.

The awards were previously managed in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society; from 2019 the scheme has been wholly managed by the National Garden Scheme. To date 59 projects have been awarded a total amount of £112,174.

The following will not be eligible for funding: Promotional costs (e.g. production or printing of leaflets); Hire of large mechanical tools (e.g. large shredder, JCB etc.); Transport to visit gardens; Insurance; Educational course fees or training costs; volunteer expenses; Salaries.

Since its foundation in 1927, The National Garden Scheme has donated over £55 million to its beneficiaries

Charities supported by the National Garden Scheme include the Queen’s Nursing Institute, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Carers Trust, Perennial, Parkinson’s UK and MS Society. Further donations are also made.

Registered Charity 1112664