Gardens keep up essential growing during lockdown

Gardens keep up essential growing during lockdown

Integral work has been happening at our gardens to make sure our plants & produce stay healthy and alive!
We have ensured that all of our staff and key volunteers are sticking to the Government guidelines by staying 2m apart, having staggered breaks, doing deep cleans daily, and making sure to only do integral work (i.e. potting up, watering, etc).

People’s Community Garden – by Bev

We have been preparing beds to seed directly, lots of seed sowing going on in the polytunnels.  The soil in all beds has been manured and mulched to improve the structure.  Our new compost bins are warming up with the grass cuttings. The potatoes are in, with 2 rows of cabbages, the broad beans have flowers already.  The Summer House has turned into a bee information centre and the pond has lots of frogspawn in it; we have added materials to encourage the frogs to stay nearby.  The sensory gardens and herb spiral are springing into life.  The plan is to produce enough vegetables and fruit to support the local community in difficult times.  We have preserved beetroot, shallots and have made rhubarb Jam in preparation for future markets. We have sown 200 hundred sunflower seeds to give to each local household to encourage them to our markets when the world recovers from the COVID-19 virus.  We have a blue tit nesting in a bird box near the entrance.

Chantry Walled Garden – by Susannah

Meanwhile over at CWG we potted up 3,000 Geranium last week, to be planted out in Ipswich parks and green spaces. We are awaiting the arrival of the perennials order next week – around 1,000 plants, with 1,000 bedding plants due the following week.

We are also making a start on renovating the long flower border so – when all this is over – people will be able to come and enjoy something really special.

Well done and huge thanks to all team who are keeping the sites going – observing strict precautions on social distancing and hygiene.
Bees – by Adee

The bees are slowly coming round from their winter slumber.  The queen starts to lay eggs so the bees have to work hard to make ready for all the new worker bees that are about to be born.  This can be a very difficult time for the hive, a cold wet spring can mean that the hive doesn’t survive, but a good sign to look for are bees coming back to the hive with lots of pollen on their legs.  Flowers in bloom now and trees provide vital food for what’s to come.  Other things to see as the days are getting warmer and longer all bees will be coming out of hibernation.  You will see queen bumblebees out foraging before she goes to build her nest.  Mason bees are emerging from their cocoons and butterflies will be waking up too.  Slow worms, lizards and snakes will be basking in the sun before going off to hunt.

Message from Julie Stokes, CEO

Message from Julie Stokes, CEO

In light of the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, ActivLives is following strict government guidelines. Our main office at Brightspace closed on Monday 23rd March 2020, with all staff working remotely and continuing to do so until it is safe to return.

As many of you are aware, events and face-to-face meetings have had to be cancelled or postponed. All of our falls prevention sessions, inclusive sport activity, singing groups, Lunch Clubs, specialist Hubs, Health Walk, ActivSheds and our Sudbury Garden Project  have had to close and our Community Gardens at Maidenhall Allotments and Chantry Park are also closed to the general public.

All our projects are on hold at the moment and will re-start as soon as it is safe to do so. We will be keeping in touch with our members and volunteers by phone to make sure they are alright and if they need any help.

I would like to thank all of our Staff, volunteers and also our Freelance Staff for their dedication and support during this difficult time. We hope that our volunteers and Freelance Staff will be able to return very soon to start-up all our fantastic activities again, when it is safe to do so.

We want people to stay connected and as active as possible while they are having to self-isolate at home, so please visit our website  for up to date information and participate in a variety of activities that will keep your mind and body active over the coming weeks. There are exercise videos that can be done safely at home –, weekly quizzes, singing videos on our Facebook page –  and we are currently working on a fun reminiscence, arts and photography project. So please have a look at the ActivLives website and Facebook page.


ActivLives will be up and running as soon as we can and we hope that everyone stays safe and well in these unprecedented times.

Best wishes

Julie Stokes

CEO ActivLives

ActivGardens projects & services to close.

ActivGardens projects & services to close.

Following the Government’s announcement last night (23 March 2020), ActivGardens and its projects and services will close.

A team of staff and key volunteers will continue to carry out essential tasks, managed according to Government guidelines.

We hope to be able to help supply fresh produce and plants to the local community when the situation improves.

Please check for further updates in three weeks.

🚨 COVID-19 Hub Closures 🚨

🚨 COVID-19 Hub Closures 🚨

Due to the risk of Coronavirus, we have been advised by the NHS to close all of our hubs this week.
Some venues have decided to close before we could have this weeks session, but we’re trying our best to let all members that it effects know.

ActivGardens is currently unaffected. If anything changes, we will try and let all members & volunteers know ahead of time.

If you have any queries, please call us on 01473 345350.