There are days when the gardeners don't have any gardening rounds in the community, especially when the gardening season is over (Winter) and this is the perfect opportunity to practice additional gardening skills and, if service users are comfortable and confident enough in what they are doing already, progress to the next stage of training on machinery and equipment.

It is also the perfect time to catch up with projects that are going on around the site, therefore service users will get involved with woodwork activities, painting, machine maintenance and general ground maintenance alongside the members of COGS Prepares 4 Life CIO (Click link for more details)

The grounds are a very important part of the COGS community as these are the areas that the gardeners maintain and use for training. As parts of the grounds are used by a wide variety of local groups, it is essential that they are kept clean, tidy and maintained.

The side of the BMCA building is one of the most crucial areas to maintain as this is the area used by groups for a multitude of occasions including weddings, kids parties, yoga classes (in the summer), outdoor fayres and the NHS.

These communal areas are open to the public and are essential for the local community to gather in, as well as forming bonds with other organisations and incouraging inclusiveness and social interaction.

This area is what we refer to as 'The Rugby Ball' bed, and needs regular weeding and pruning to keep the area in tip top condition and looking presentable.

This area of the site is a mowers dream!

We have massive areas of grass where everyone training on the lawnmowers can polish up their skills without damaging anything around them.

They can practice straight lines, turning into the next row and even experiment with blade heights to see the different results.

Along the side are banks that need cutting, so hover mower training takes place here as well.

There is never a shortage of where to put grass cuttings and weeds as COGS has enough compost bins around the site to take composting full circle from dumping clippings from mowing at the start of the cycle to reusing the end results in some of our flower beds around the site.

The gardeners are taught all stages of composting so that they can transfer those skills at home.

Some would say this is where the magic happens!

COGS are very proud of the fact that they grow their own fruit and vegetables, and enjoy all the benefits that comes from that excercise, as not only have the gardeners learnt how to sow seeds and grow them to healthy plants, they have also built their own allotment with raised beds and erected a substantial fruit cage that will last for years to come!

The produce that is harvested is used in cooking activities and sold on to the local community at a fraction of the cost of local supermarkets and shops.

There is an area dedicated to wildlife and bugs which houses a sizeable Bug Hotel, which needs an annual painting and constant weeding to keep it looking smart.