Growing Wild with the UoY Gardening Society

The new University of York Gardening Society tell us about their passion for all things green.

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You may not often find yourself wandering through a narrow set of steps through a hedge opposite Derwent College on the far end of University of York campus, but perhaps it’s time to change that. A group of green-fingered students have claimed an unused plot of land by University Road with a view to turning it into the new home of the recently-founded Gardening Society.  

The society was started when some of the committee members, Patrick Thelwell (Chair), Cameron Clark (Secretary), Lucy Walsh (Treasurer) and Ella Hornby (Press Secretary), decided to start gardening in their student house. Their passion for the environment and lack of previous experience led to the idea of bringing together other students with a passion for going green and getting to grips with gardening together.

They requested some land on campus to use as their hub and are using the winter months to develop the land into a communal space, prepare the ground and plant seeds. By summer they hope to have transformed the patch into a ‘thriving haven of beauty,’ as Patrick, the chair of the society, put it.

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Over the course of the term, the Gardening Society has a variety of events planned: social events (both indoor and outdoor), BBQs, day trips to botanic gardens and places of interest for their nature, and activities including ‘paint-a-pot.’ The local B&Q store has also expressed interest in sponsorship of several pieces of equipment and resources.

The committee can be found in the garden between 10am and 5pm every Tuesday and they welcome anybody who would like to drop by and lend a hand or ask questions. Membership to the society is £5 for a year and this includes events, access to the space and all tools. They emphasise that experience is not necessary: “none of us know what we’re doing,” said Patrick.

The Gardening Society at York is impressive but far from unique: in recent years the number of student societies and campaigns focused on green issues has skyrocketed, from Extinction Rebellion campaigns to Ethical Fashion shows. The committee in the garden agree that interest is growing among the student population. “There are definitely more students aware of green issues now,” said the chair. “I’d encourage any students across the country to get involved or start their own society. Change can start from home.” 

More information and membership to the Gardening Society can be purchased here. You can also stay up-to-date with what they’re up to by following their Facebook and Instagram. Their next event is Paint-a-Pot on Tuesday 29th January at 6.30pm in P/T/007. Find the FB event here.

Are you a student interested in gardening? Tell us about it! Whether you’re part of a society or just do it in your spare time, we want to hear your top gardening tips for students on a budget! Tell us in the comments or tag us in your posts with #howtobewild! 

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