Keynsham nursery hopes to sow seeds for new learning garden - with community's help

November 08 2017

A new nursery in Keynsham is bidding for up to £5,000 to transform a piece of unused land into a thriving allotment plot complete with chickens.

A new nursery in Keynsham is bidding for up to £5,000 to transform a piece of unused land into a thriving allotment plot complete with chickens.

Broadlands Bears is opening at Broadlands Academy this month for youngsters aged from two to five, and staff are hoping to provide an outdoor space to nurture the children’s interest in gardening, growing food and the great outdoors.

As part of the scheme, a wildlife trail with playhouse and outdoor stage would also be created in the nursery’s garden area.

To bring the plan to fruition, the nursery now needs funding for materials, seeds, soil, raised beds and tools, as well as expert help to construct the trail, playhouse and stage.

Broadlands Bears has now applied to the Aviva Community Fund for a grant, which will be awarded to projects around the country that earn the most public votes in an online poll.

A spokesperson said: “The academy has already dedicated time and resources to create a wonderful inside environment for children to enjoy by converting an existing building. However, we would like to develop a spectacular outside space for the children that also has a positive impact on the wider community. The outside space attached to the nursery building has amazing potential to be very special but we need help to develop the area.”

As well as the youngsters who attend the nursery, there will be plenty of benefits for the wider community too as part of the plan. Fresh vegetables, fruit and eggs from the plot will be donated to Keynsham Foodbank, which has a base at the school, while the chickens will be adopted from a caged hen rescue centre and given a second chance at a free-range life.

Meanwhile, the plot will be tended by community helpers who would like to enjoy their hobby while socialising.

For the wildlife trail and its buildings, the nursery would draw on the skills of members of the Somerdale Shed community group and local tradespeople while young people at Broadlands Academy and other local schools could gain basic skills and work experience on the project.

Broadlands Bears’ spokesperson said: “The project will have a huge impact on the community at various levels from the very young to the elderly. The project will increase the wellbeing of the nursery children, young people at the academy, young people who want to learn vocational skills and people who want to combat loneliness by undertaking their hobbies in a social environment.

“In the long term the allotment will provide sustainable fresh produce for local people in need of support from the foodbank and help young people understand social responsibility to help and support others.”

To support the scheme, visit to register and cast your 10 votes. Find out more about Broadlands Bears at