Cumbria Crack

Your chance to vote for a new wildlife community garden

The newly-installed building at Gosling Sike Farm is nearly complete. The Explore, Learn and Grow project will create a new wildlife garden around the building.

[C]umbria Wildlife Trust is bidding to bag a cash boost this autumn from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative, for its Explore, Learn and Grow community garden project at Gosling Sike Farm in Houghton.

Described as a ‘small farm delivering big benefits for people’, Gosling Sike Farm will shortly reopen as the Trust’s new education and training hub near Carlisle. The renovated building is nearing completion and the Explore, Learn and Grow project marks the start of the exciting next phase. It involves setting up a new wildlife garden on the site, with community groups being invited to take the lead in planning and planting what will become a stunning new green space that everyone can enjoy.

Kate Cartmell-Done and Jordan Ross, former apprentices at Cumbria Wildlife Trust, fence-building at Gosling Sike Farm.

Explore, Learn and Grow is one of three projects from the Carlisle region that are bidding for funds from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme. Customers will decide the outcome, voting with a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop in Tesco. The project with the highest number of votes will receive up to £4,000, the second placed project up to £2,000 and the third placed project £1,000.

Voting takes place in the following stores between Friday 1 September and Tuesday 31 October.

  • Tesco Superstore, Warwick Rd, Carlisle CA1 2SB
  • Tesco Metro, Victoria Viaduct, Carlisle CA3 8AJ

Michelle Waller, Senior Development Officer at Cumbria Wildlife Trust said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for the Tesco Bags of Help scheme. At Gosling Sike Farm we already offer a farm trail, wetland and woodland for people to enjoy. We’re very excited about the next phase of development. The community garden will be an inclusive, welcoming green space, which will benefit everyone. There’ll be opportunities for food growing, wildlife gardening, projects that promote mental and physical health benefits and opportunities for people with disabilities. We think it will be a wonderful new space for the local community and I’d like to urge all Tesco shoppers to vote for us!”

This artist’s impression of the newly-installed building at Gosling Sike Farm, Houghton shows what the new wildlife garden could look like.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for September and October. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Tesco has teamed up with environmental organisation Groundwork to run the Bags of Help scheme, which is funded by the 5p plastic bag levy. Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

You can find out more about Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s plans at Gosling Sike Farm, including the Explore, Learn and Grow project, at one of their three drop-in days being held at the farm, on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 September, and Wednesday 18 October. For details go to or ring 01539 816300.

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