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The Big Dig

London, Birmingham and Manchester get ready for Big Dig Day
The Big Dig

50 edible gardens across Birmingham, London and Manchester are inviting people new to ‘growing their own’ to get involved in the fifth annual Big Dig Day on Saturday 16 April, during National Gardening Week.

Community growing

The day will give novice growers a chance to learn about growing food and help out with spring tasks, such as planting potatoes, preparing raised beds and sowing seeds and flowers that encourage wildlife.

This year’s Big Dig Day, run by Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, takes place in London, Birmingham and Manchester. It has seen 8,000 volunteers across the UK lend a hand to community food growing.

‘We are a group of people who work together with the purpose of growing organic produce and expanding our knowledge of growing food. What we grow and what we learn we share. We always need volunteers of all sorts, and it’s really nice to get involved and feel that you’re doing something useful.’

Moss Side Community Allotment

The initiative also helps groups to record their harvest to see the value of their produce through the Harvest-ometer online tool.

Discovering local gardens

The edible gardens involved are found on roofs, in parks and tucked away in hidden corners where they grow food and provide much-needed greenery for the city. This day is important in helping local people discover them.

‘We want the Big Dig network to be a one stop shop for people interested in growing food. People can find a garden, get involved and see the range of things going on across their city. And for the gardens there are opportunities to promote their gardens, record their harvest and see how much money they are saving! The Big Dig Day kicks off the year with a chance to get your hands dirty.’


The Big Dig in Manchester is run by Sow the City, in London by Sustain network – Capital Growth and in Birmingham through independent group Growing Birmingham.

To find a garden in your area, or to register your garden to take part in the day, have a look at the Big Dig’s interactive map.

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