ActivGardens

If you enjoy working with others in the great outdoors, then join us at ActivGardens. You will learn skills and gain confidence, get active and enhance your mental and physical well-being, meet people, make friends and build contacts. Our gardens and projects are at the heart of local communities, with a friendly, open and welcoming atmosphere. We offer learning and training, work experience, placements and volunteering to people of all ages and abilities. Get in touch to find out about our opportunities!

Donate

ActivLives is a local charity, which relies on grants, trusts, donations, fundraising activities, sponsorship & commissions to enable us to provide & develop our services across Ipswich & Suffolk.

OUR NEW STOCK IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER!

Please browse our online catalogue and get your order in early.

We can deliver direct to your door from May – so you can continue enjoy your garden safely during these challenging times.

People’s Community Garden

An outdoor community resource, where people of all ages, and from all walks of life, get together to develop and maintain an inspiring green space.

Chantry Walled Garden

A beautiful heritage walled garden and plant nursery, open to the public. Here, we offer volunteering and work experience opportunities, and have a garden especially designed for people with disabilities to carry on gardening!

Grow Your Community: Sudbury

Join us in Belle Vue Park and other green spaces around town to make
your community bloom! Make new friends, learn skills, get active, feel fitter and improve your environment in the process.

Current Services & Projects

Read about our current ActivGardens projects to see how you can get involved

ActivHives Apiary and Bee Garden

Get closer to nature in our wildlife areas and take part in beekeeping.

ActivSheds

A place to get creative, learn skills and work shoulder to shoulder on woodworking projects.

CRESS Pavilion

A community hub and information learning centre, where we hold our community market and pop-up cafe.

Heritage Garden

Lap up the atmosphere within the walls of our historical site – full of interesting features and beautiful plants.

Plant Nursery

A great place to learn industry skills, growing and tending plants, as well as buying our beautiful plants.

Bridging The Gap

Bridging The Gap is a project that brings the garden to care homes and hospital wards.

Carry On Gardening!

A project to enable older people to enjoy gardening – at our friendly, welcoming sites or in community and care settings.

Grow to Learn

Providing learning placements for older adults, family carers, and young people in transition with social care needs.

Grow Your Future

An outdoor learning programme for young people aged 16-24 who are not in Education, Employment or Training

Women's Skills Exchange

Bringing women together to learn and share skills.

A gardens volunteer wear an orange jacket as she holds a tray of newly potted plants.

Roots to Work

Roots to Work is a project that aims to help people build practical skills and knowledge about gardening, growing and nature conservation.

Placements

Placements for young people and adults – learn skills, improve your health & wellbeing, socialise as part of a friendly team. 

We offer a range of activities in the relaxed, welcoming environment of the People’s Community Garden, ActivSheds and Chantry Walled Garden, at a pace to suit the individual.

Being part of ActivGardens will enable you to learn practical skills, gain confidence, and develop friendships.

Programmes for schools 

Exciting outdoor learning opportunities & skills development for young people.

We work with schools, colleges and other organisations to help develop young people – giving them a chance to learn hands-on, build confidence and self-esteem, and feel positive about their future.

Becoming a Volunteer

If you enjoy working with others in the great outdoors, then come and work at ActivGardens.

We have a variety of roles at our gardens and outreach sites, helping keep up with the work, contributing your skills, and supporting other people.

A Look Inside ActivGardens

How to videos

Our helpful how to videos can show you how to make a lovely table decoration, how to grow sweet peas and also a bulb lasagne!

Where You Can Find Us

The Peoples Community Garden

The People’s Community Garden is an outdoor community resource on a public allotment site, where people of all ages and abilities get together to learn, develop and maintain an inspiring green space including growing vegetables, sowing seeds, maintaining wildlife areas, and beekeeping.

Open Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays
9am – 3.30pm

Chantry Walled Garden

Chantry Walled Garden is a heritage walled garden in a public park, with flower borders and vegetable-growing areas, as well as extensive glasshouses as part of our plant nursery. 

Open Tuesdays & Thursdays
9am – 3.30pm

Plant Sales every Tuesday & Thursday.

Belle Vue Park

Grow Your Community – Sudbury provides opportunities for local people to get involved in community growing in and around Sudbury.

At Belle Vue Park every Thursday
10am – 12.30pm

Also available in other green spaces around Sudbury via booking.

CRESS Pavilion

Home to the CRESS Community Market & Cafe & ActivSheds.
The CRESS Pavilion is available to hire – contact us on 01473 345350 for more information.

CRESS Community Market – see events for next market

ActivSheds – open Fridays at 10am

Meet the Staff

Susannah Robirosa

ActivGardens Development Manager

Ian Hirst

ActivGardens Operations Officer

ActivGardens is supported by Suffolk Community Foundation        

News from ActivGardens

Invertebrates at Belle Vue Park

Invertebrates at Belle Vue Park

At Belle Vue park we grow lots of different types of plants and shrubs and this creates a range of different habitats for many invertebrates. Our tall grasses have dense tussocky bases where beetles and spiders can survive over winter. We grow lots of flowers with...

Upcoming ActivGardens Events

Click on an event below to find out more details

Jun
28
Tue
2022
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden
Jun 28 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden | United Kingdom

Chantry Walled Garden is a heritage walled garden in a public park, with flower borders and vegetable-growing areas, as well as extensive glasshouses as part of our plant nursery.  Our base is cosy Nursery Cottage, where there is an accessible courtyard garden with raised beds for wheelchair users. The adjacent workshop has facilities for woodwork and basic construction. In this garden you can learn skills relevant to the horticultural industry as well as enjoy maintaining a garden full of history.

Every Tuesday and Thursday we hold a plant sale, where we sell plants we’ve grown in the garden to help fund the project.

Jun
30
Thu
2022
ActivSheds – Thursday Sessions for men @ CRESS Pavilion
Jun 30 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
ActivSheds - Thursday Sessions for men @ CRESS Pavilion | England | United Kingdom
Share skills, learn informally, pursue your hobbies and interests! Make friends and get more involved in your community!
Are you stuck indoors too much? Would you like to get out more and meet like-minded people in an informal, relaxed setting?
Do you like working with tools, repairing and mending, DIY projects?
If so, then why not join our ActivSheds project for men. You can share tools and resources and work on a wide range of projects such as renovation, building raised beds and cold frames, or smaller items such as bird boxes or plant troughs
You may have your own ideas or project you’d like to suggest. We can also give you help, advice and support to set up your own Men’s Shed project in your community
Booking essential! ActivSheds runs on Friday mornings from 10am at the shed at the CRESS Pavilion on Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE, near the People’s Community Garden. For further information, please contact Ian on 01473 345350 or ian@activlives.org.uk.
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden
Jun 30 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden | United Kingdom

Chantry Walled Garden is a heritage walled garden in a public park, with flower borders and vegetable-growing areas, as well as extensive glasshouses as part of our plant nursery.  Our base is cosy Nursery Cottage, where there is an accessible courtyard garden with raised beds for wheelchair users. The adjacent workshop has facilities for woodwork and basic construction. In this garden you can learn skills relevant to the horticultural industry as well as enjoy maintaining a garden full of history.

Every Tuesday and Thursday we hold a plant sale, where we sell plants we’ve grown in the garden to help fund the project.

Jul
1
Fri
2022
ActivSheds @ CRESS Pavilion
Jul 1 @ 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
ActivSheds @ CRESS Pavilion | England | United Kingdom
Share skills, learn informally, pursue your hobbies and interests! Make friends and get more involved in your community!
Are you stuck indoors too much? Would you like to get out more and meet like-minded people in an informal, relaxed setting?
Do you like working with tools, repairing and mending, DIY projects?
If so, then why not join our ActivSheds project for men. You can share tools and resources and work on a wide range of projects such as renovation, building raised beds and cold frames, or smaller items such as bird boxes or plant troughs
You may have your own ideas or project you’d like to suggest. We can also give you help, advice and support to set up your own Men’s Shed project in your community
ActivSheds runs on Friday mornings from 10am at the shed at the CRESS Pavilion on Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE, near the People’s Community Garden. For further information, please contact Ian on 01473 345350 or ian@activlives.org.uk.
Jul
5
Tue
2022
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden
Jul 5 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden | United Kingdom

Chantry Walled Garden is a heritage walled garden in a public park, with flower borders and vegetable-growing areas, as well as extensive glasshouses as part of our plant nursery.  Our base is cosy Nursery Cottage, where there is an accessible courtyard garden with raised beds for wheelchair users. The adjacent workshop has facilities for woodwork and basic construction. In this garden you can learn skills relevant to the horticultural industry as well as enjoy maintaining a garden full of history.

Every Tuesday and Thursday we hold a plant sale, where we sell plants we’ve grown in the garden to help fund the project.

Jul
7
Thu
2022
ActivSheds – Thursday Sessions for men @ CRESS Pavilion
Jul 7 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
ActivSheds - Thursday Sessions for men @ CRESS Pavilion | England | United Kingdom
Share skills, learn informally, pursue your hobbies and interests! Make friends and get more involved in your community!
Are you stuck indoors too much? Would you like to get out more and meet like-minded people in an informal, relaxed setting?
Do you like working with tools, repairing and mending, DIY projects?
If so, then why not join our ActivSheds project for men. You can share tools and resources and work on a wide range of projects such as renovation, building raised beds and cold frames, or smaller items such as bird boxes or plant troughs
You may have your own ideas or project you’d like to suggest. We can also give you help, advice and support to set up your own Men’s Shed project in your community
Booking essential! ActivSheds runs on Friday mornings from 10am at the shed at the CRESS Pavilion on Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE, near the People’s Community Garden. For further information, please contact Ian on 01473 345350 or ian@activlives.org.uk.
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden
Jul 7 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden | United Kingdom

Chantry Walled Garden is a heritage walled garden in a public park, with flower borders and vegetable-growing areas, as well as extensive glasshouses as part of our plant nursery.  Our base is cosy Nursery Cottage, where there is an accessible courtyard garden with raised beds for wheelchair users. The adjacent workshop has facilities for woodwork and basic construction. In this garden you can learn skills relevant to the horticultural industry as well as enjoy maintaining a garden full of history.

Every Tuesday and Thursday we hold a plant sale, where we sell plants we’ve grown in the garden to help fund the project.

Jul
8
Fri
2022
ActivSheds @ CRESS Pavilion
Jul 8 @ 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
ActivSheds @ CRESS Pavilion | England | United Kingdom
Share skills, learn informally, pursue your hobbies and interests! Make friends and get more involved in your community!
Are you stuck indoors too much? Would you like to get out more and meet like-minded people in an informal, relaxed setting?
Do you like working with tools, repairing and mending, DIY projects?
If so, then why not join our ActivSheds project for men. You can share tools and resources and work on a wide range of projects such as renovation, building raised beds and cold frames, or smaller items such as bird boxes or plant troughs
You may have your own ideas or project you’d like to suggest. We can also give you help, advice and support to set up your own Men’s Shed project in your community
ActivSheds runs on Friday mornings from 10am at the shed at the CRESS Pavilion on Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE, near the People’s Community Garden. For further information, please contact Ian on 01473 345350 or ian@activlives.org.uk.
Jul
12
Tue
2022
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden
Jul 12 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden | United Kingdom

Chantry Walled Garden is a heritage walled garden in a public park, with flower borders and vegetable-growing areas, as well as extensive glasshouses as part of our plant nursery.  Our base is cosy Nursery Cottage, where there is an accessible courtyard garden with raised beds for wheelchair users. The adjacent workshop has facilities for woodwork and basic construction. In this garden you can learn skills relevant to the horticultural industry as well as enjoy maintaining a garden full of history.

Every Tuesday and Thursday we hold a plant sale, where we sell plants we’ve grown in the garden to help fund the project.

Jul
14
Thu
2022
ActivSheds – Thursday Sessions for men @ CRESS Pavilion
Jul 14 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
ActivSheds - Thursday Sessions for men @ CRESS Pavilion | England | United Kingdom
Share skills, learn informally, pursue your hobbies and interests! Make friends and get more involved in your community!
Are you stuck indoors too much? Would you like to get out more and meet like-minded people in an informal, relaxed setting?
Do you like working with tools, repairing and mending, DIY projects?
If so, then why not join our ActivSheds project for men. You can share tools and resources and work on a wide range of projects such as renovation, building raised beds and cold frames, or smaller items such as bird boxes or plant troughs
You may have your own ideas or project you’d like to suggest. We can also give you help, advice and support to set up your own Men’s Shed project in your community
Booking essential! ActivSheds runs on Friday mornings from 10am at the shed at the CRESS Pavilion on Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE, near the People’s Community Garden. For further information, please contact Ian on 01473 345350 or ian@activlives.org.uk.
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden
Jul 14 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden | United Kingdom

Chantry Walled Garden is a heritage walled garden in a public park, with flower borders and vegetable-growing areas, as well as extensive glasshouses as part of our plant nursery.  Our base is cosy Nursery Cottage, where there is an accessible courtyard garden with raised beds for wheelchair users. The adjacent workshop has facilities for woodwork and basic construction. In this garden you can learn skills relevant to the horticultural industry as well as enjoy maintaining a garden full of history.

Every Tuesday and Thursday we hold a plant sale, where we sell plants we’ve grown in the garden to help fund the project.

Jul
15
Fri
2022
ActivSheds @ CRESS Pavilion
Jul 15 @ 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
ActivSheds @ CRESS Pavilion | England | United Kingdom
Share skills, learn informally, pursue your hobbies and interests! Make friends and get more involved in your community!
Are you stuck indoors too much? Would you like to get out more and meet like-minded people in an informal, relaxed setting?
Do you like working with tools, repairing and mending, DIY projects?
If so, then why not join our ActivSheds project for men. You can share tools and resources and work on a wide range of projects such as renovation, building raised beds and cold frames, or smaller items such as bird boxes or plant troughs
You may have your own ideas or project you’d like to suggest. We can also give you help, advice and support to set up your own Men’s Shed project in your community
ActivSheds runs on Friday mornings from 10am at the shed at the CRESS Pavilion on Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE, near the People’s Community Garden. For further information, please contact Ian on 01473 345350 or ian@activlives.org.uk.
Jul
19
Tue
2022
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden
Jul 19 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden | United Kingdom

Chantry Walled Garden is a heritage walled garden in a public park, with flower borders and vegetable-growing areas, as well as extensive glasshouses as part of our plant nursery.  Our base is cosy Nursery Cottage, where there is an accessible courtyard garden with raised beds for wheelchair users. The adjacent workshop has facilities for woodwork and basic construction. In this garden you can learn skills relevant to the horticultural industry as well as enjoy maintaining a garden full of history.

Every Tuesday and Thursday we hold a plant sale, where we sell plants we’ve grown in the garden to help fund the project.

Jul
21
Thu
2022
ActivSheds – Thursday Sessions for men @ CRESS Pavilion
Jul 21 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
ActivSheds - Thursday Sessions for men @ CRESS Pavilion | England | United Kingdom
Share skills, learn informally, pursue your hobbies and interests! Make friends and get more involved in your community!
Are you stuck indoors too much? Would you like to get out more and meet like-minded people in an informal, relaxed setting?
Do you like working with tools, repairing and mending, DIY projects?
If so, then why not join our ActivSheds project for men. You can share tools and resources and work on a wide range of projects such as renovation, building raised beds and cold frames, or smaller items such as bird boxes or plant troughs
You may have your own ideas or project you’d like to suggest. We can also give you help, advice and support to set up your own Men’s Shed project in your community
Booking essential! ActivSheds runs on Friday mornings from 10am at the shed at the CRESS Pavilion on Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE, near the People’s Community Garden. For further information, please contact Ian on 01473 345350 or ian@activlives.org.uk.
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden
Jul 21 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Plants for Sale at Chantry Walled Garden @ Chantry Walled Garden | United Kingdom

Chantry Walled Garden is a heritage walled garden in a public park, with flower borders and vegetable-growing areas, as well as extensive glasshouses as part of our plant nursery.  Our base is cosy Nursery Cottage, where there is an accessible courtyard garden with raised beds for wheelchair users. The adjacent workshop has facilities for woodwork and basic construction. In this garden you can learn skills relevant to the horticultural industry as well as enjoy maintaining a garden full of history.

Every Tuesday and Thursday we hold a plant sale, where we sell plants we’ve grown in the garden to help fund the project.

Jul
22
Fri
2022
ActivSheds @ CRESS Pavilion
Jul 22 @ 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
ActivSheds @ CRESS Pavilion | England | United Kingdom
Share skills, learn informally, pursue your hobbies and interests! Make friends and get more involved in your community!
Are you stuck indoors too much? Would you like to get out more and meet like-minded people in an informal, relaxed setting?
Do you like working with tools, repairing and mending, DIY projects?
If so, then why not join our ActivSheds project for men. You can share tools and resources and work on a wide range of projects such as renovation, building raised beds and cold frames, or smaller items such as bird boxes or plant troughs
You may have your own ideas or project you’d like to suggest. We can also give you help, advice and support to set up your own Men’s Shed project in your community
ActivSheds runs on Friday mornings from 10am at the shed at the CRESS Pavilion on Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE, near the People’s Community Garden. For further information, please contact Ian on 01473 345350 or ian@activlives.org.uk.