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History of the Project 2007-2019

In September of 2007 when The Allotment Federation very kindly donated 1200sq meters of their derelict land to the GZ group for a minimum of 25 years, for people with special needs to create and maintain their own garden, we realized it was an enormous task and that many a sleepless night lay before us, in order to turn this derelict area into a place where any one is welcome.

The plan was to have a garden where anyone regardless of age or disability could go and enjoy themselves in a safe and secure environment. Make friends, learn new things and above all gain confidence and enjoy life. A place where there is no discrimination and is open to all.


This was the challenge_edited.jpg

Before the actual hard work started in February 2008 there were many days of phone calls, meetings and evenings of planning, drawing and glasses of wine to make sure there was a need for such a place, as we didn’t want to apply for any funding that could have been used elsewhere. We found there was a need.

The task to start and clear the ground was horrendous and without the help of the boys from Joseph Priestley college, a group from the University and people from business in the community, I think we would have still been clearing the ground today. The stuff we found and had to shift was unbelievable. We filled 3 skips with utter junk initially and a further 6 skips during the creation of the garden.

Once the ground was reasonably clear, we then had to start looking around for funders and sponsors. With this we were extremely fortunate. People were so generous and eager to help. Our projected targets for the garden were broken down into 4 phases. The 1st phase we expected to take 3 years to complete and the overall completion phase, maybe up to 10 years. But with the help from all these wonderful people we managed to get all the funding needed for our project in just 2 years. How fantastic was that?

Some early Volunteers.jpg
Our Volunteers
Ozzies Build Soft Fruit Area
Ossies Working on the Wild Garden
All hands together
Osmondthorpe Woodentops
Our Volunteers
Work Commences
Soft Fruit Area Fenced
Signs Funded by East Leeds Management Te

The Growing Zone has an active committee of volunteer members who come from all walks of life and between us we now have the experience and knowledge our group requires to continue with the help and support of our very special friends.

At this point I would like to pay tribute and send our heartfelt thanks to our Patrons Alec Shelbrooke MP and Kevin Sharp LVO DL, Deputy Lieutenant, West Yorkshire, our user groups, our wonderful sponsors, volunteers and committee members, because without the help of these wonderful people we could not have come this far in such a short time and we would not have had such a special place for us all to go to whenever we wish. GZ is not only our garden, it has now become our haven and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has helped us in any way.

If you would like to help or work with us in some way we would be absolutely delighted to hear from you. Complete the contact section and send us your request.



June Perkin

BEM Founder/Chairperson

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