Leeds gardening project to host BBC radio show

Members of Back to Front with Cross Green residents and student volunteers, along with Space 2 and Hyde Park Source, in a previous project to transform wasteland in Cross Green.

Members of Back to Front with Cross Green residents and student volunteers, along with Space 2 and Hyde Park Source, in a previous project to transform wasteland in Cross Green.

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An innovative project to revitalise gardens in deprived areas of Leeds has been chosen to host Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time next week.

Back to Front - a scheme which encourages people to grow fruit and vegetables in their front gardens - will welcome a panel of horticultural experts on October 28 for a recording of the legendary gardening show.

The panel will answer gardening questions from a live audience from 5.30pm in the James Graham Buildings’s Great Hall at Headingley Campus of Leeds Becket University, which supports the project.

The university’s Landscape Architecture students played a major role in its early days, helping to design a manual with tops for would-be growers.

Lecturer and Back to Front trustee Tom Bliss said he was delighted the radio show was coming. He said: “This is a great coup for the project. Leeds has a large proportion of back-to-back houses, many with only small front gardens that are seldom used to grow food. We know that gardening has major health, wellbeing and social benefits, and that food can in fact be grown successfully in the most unlikely of places, which is why Back to Front was formed, initially by an NHS community health team, to demonstrate how it could be done, and to help people make it happen.”

Over the last couple of years, the project has signed up over 300 people to grow food ‘Back to Front’ in parts of Leeds.

Mr Bliss added: “The major advantage of growing at the front of your house (even if you do have a back garden), is that passers-by can see what you’re doing, and so may stop to chat and ask questions. This helps to promote the idea, build communities, and facilitate the sharing of advice, tools, seeds, plants and, of course, produce.”

Buy tickets at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/back-to-front-gqt-tickets-13245817597.

Fillingfir Drive, Leeds (Google)

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