WUC Horticulture Society visits garden and community farm

April 2021

Image for press release - Avenue of trees at the Gibberd Garden Harlow

Writtle University College's (WUC's) new Horticultural Society has enjoyed its first trip this semester.

On April 21st, the students travelled to Harlow, to visit Gibberd Garden and Herts & Essex Community Farm.

Gibberd Garden, originally owned by Frederick Gibberd and his wife. It opened in 1972 as a weekend retreat, but was later used as their retirement home.

Frederick Gibberd was a renowned architect and town planner. The garden is a series of courtyards, sweeping lawns and beautiful avenues.

Trip organiser, Kerstin, said: "There are great vistas, murmuring brooks, interesting specimen plants (a stunning old apple tree really caught our attention) and wonderful sweeps of narcissi and primroses."

"Throughout the garden is an extensive collection of sculptures and architectural salvage pieces, collected by the Gibberds. The garden is maintained predominantly by volunteers."

The second visit of the day, took the society to Herts & Essex Community Farm, where they met the founder, WUC student, Elliot. The award-winning farm lies between a housing estate and a brook at the bottom of a hill. In 2020, Elliot was named 'Student of the Year' at WUC, for his outstanding work on the project.

The site covers about half an acre and eight years ago was bramble-infested wasteland. Elliot told the society how he went about founding the project and the work that has allowed the farm to maintain its momentum.

Kerstin said: "The farm is an impressive statement of what a few people with determination and application can achieve. Today, it has about 300 volunteers and several thousand visitors a year. Everything is grown organically and sustainably, they have an orchard with apples, pears, plums and berries and keep honeybees. They put on seasonal events and are involved with a lot of other community projects like Harlow Soup and Harlow Grows."

WUC Horticultural Society's next visit will be on May 19th to the Elephant & Castle Project and Walworth Community Garden.


Students interested in joining the society should contact the Students' Union or visit: https://facebook.com/groups/wuchorticulturesociety/