Planning the Planting at Sherbourne House Sherbourne House

In early February we began working with a group of students from Stroud College at Sherbourne House. We are creating a new fruit, flower and vegetable garden for the residents of this sheltered housing scheme in Stonehouse.

To begin with, students met the residents to ask them what kinds of things they would like to see growing in their new raised beds.

As a result of those conversations we have designed a planting plan - raised planters will sit on the patio where residents will be able to harvest strawberries and lettuces growing at waist height; sunflowers and runner beans will shoot up from the ground level beds; gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes will rub shoulders with existing ornamental plantings in the lawn area.

In short, we hope it will be a feast for all the senses!Greggs


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A Place to Be Ryeleaze

Ryeleaze School Corner Plot Garden

The Stroud and Cotswold Alternative Provision School, on the corner of Brickrow and Ryeleaze Road in central Stroud, have asked for a shelter. This will provide a seating place for pupils to chat and socialise. So we drew up a design, and have started the construction of a rustic wooden structure.

During the winter, the ash hedge was coppiced and currants planted. Loads of vegetables and salad will go in this spring, for use in the school’s cookery sessions.

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You can see here the path and beds taking shape.







Raised beds

Ryeleaze is the upper school section of the Stroud and Cotswold Alternative Provision School, the students we are working with so far are 13 – 14 years old. The aim of the project is to create a gardening and outdoor social space. 

Since spring this year, Richard’s Thursday team have been building raised beds for vegetables, a woodchip path, decking and compost bays. The school is keeping the rough grass mown.

From May, with Fred, through the summer term, there were six fortnightly sessions with students, who got involved with planting, sowing, weeding, watering, harvesting, and construction. Runner bean plant supports were made with hazel poles, and natural pieces of wood were sawed, drilled, and screwed to posts, as a sculpture.

The school is proactive in harvesting the produce and using it within their cooking classes, with some very creative dishes being made, making links from garden to food.

The students have engaged with the activities for some of the time, but they have also enjoy chatting together. Time will be given to asking for their design ideas and choosing what to do.

The learning has involved gardening skills such as recognising weeds, and different types of plant and vegetable. Also, how to sow and plant; water and harvest, how to save seed, together with maintaining vegetable and fruit plants.

The future plans at this site are to engage the students in designing a seating area with a rain shelter, and using pallets to construct benches and a table. Future growing schemes include autumn vegetable sowing: broad beans, spinach, onion sets; and planting up a soft fruit area.

For more information, call Clare at SVP on 01453 753358.

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 Kingswood 1We have had a number of events and workshops at the nature reserve starting with our annual Great Crested Newt (GCN) survey (end April until mid May), a scything for beginners course run by SVP colleague Fred Miller, Pond Dipping with Denise Gibbons and Barbara Wood and Bat Walk led by Nadine Smykatz-Kloss.


GCN Survey 2018: Once again the survey was a great success with numbers up from last year. A highlight of this Kingswood 2second survey of three was when (with the help of volunteers, clear early blue skies and a clear plastic chocolate tray) we were able to photograph the under belly patterns of all 17 GCNs (11 male, 6 female) - the under belly pattern is unique to the individual newt.Kingswood PC

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RRodborough common mapodborough Common is a Special Area of Conservation, supporting a wide diversity of species including rare insects and wild flowers.

The human population around Rodborough Common has grown which has caused the increase in number and width of footpaths that criss-cross it. This is causing concern about the loss of undisturbed grassland that provides habitat for skylarks and the numerous other species that thrive there.

This summer Stroud Valleys Project, working with National Trust, conducted a number of surveys of the Common in order to monitor the paths.

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Throughout the winter we have been going out with volunteers to a variety of sites around Stroud district carrying out a whole host of conservation tasks.

We have been back working with Cainscross Parish Council to improve Queen Elizabeth II Field for both people and wildlife. Some of the native daffodil bulbs that we planted back in 2016 have come up this year (they can take a couple of years until they flower for the first time) and we’ve been busy clearing an area to plant some more wildflower seeds. So if you ever pass the field keep an eye out for the flowers in the summer.

We have also been working at Arundel Mill Pond just along the towpath from Capel’s Mill. Some clearing has been done around the trees which we planted in 2015 and we have been rewarded with seeing their first leaves breaking bud and the blackthorn coming into blossom.

We will be planting more wild flower seeds here as well, so hopefully our bees and other pollinators will benefit. In the summer we are also planning to do some river clearance along the River Frome.

Other sites we have been working at include Bisley Old Road Cemetery, where we helped rake up the grass cuttings to benefit wildflowers; Rowcroft Medical Centre, where we helped to maintain their planted area; and also Buckholt Wood, where we built a beautiful dead hedge from all their coppiced wood.

If you are free on a Tuesday and would like to join us please get in touch with Tamsin on 01453 753358 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Cainscross PC






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Garden services

Lots of outdoor work can seem really daunting. If you would like some help we can provide a team to tackle those difficult jobs.

Click here to see a video of work carried out for Stroud company, Omnitrack

Here is a range of services we provide :

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Stroud Valleys Project is a limited company,
registered in England and Wales

Registered number: 2224016    

Registered charity number: 900107


Stroud Valleys Project

8 Threadneedle Street




Tel: 01453 753358


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