Becoming a St Albans Earthworker

May 16th 2018
By: Melanie Hollidge
Becoming a St Albans Earthworker

Have you ever thought of becoming a St Albans or Harpenden Earthworker? What indeed is an Earthworker? To find out how to become more involved in earthworks you could try visiting their Plant Sale and Open Garden on Saturday, May 19th from 12.00noon to 3.30pm at Earthworks St Albans.

Earthworks are a local charity that has a three-acre site in Hixberry Lane, St. Albans that they manage using environmental principles. Earthworks staff works together with volunteers to develop and maintain the site, with its gardens, heritage orchard, vegetable beds, shade tunnels and polytunnel.

Over 20 years ago five large psychiatric hospitals in and around St. Albans were closed changing the local landscape. Residents moved into more supported, community-based housing however opportunities for integration needed to be developed.  Earthworks formed in response to these changes in social care with the aim of meeting the aspirations of people with learning disabilities for social involvement and creative occupation. 

Some extensive consultation with service users, carers and social services revealed land-based activity was the most popular creative occupation! Thus Earthworks developed as a charity offering training and work experience in horticulture and conservation for people.

From an empty two-acre field with this important vision to develop, Earthworks now have a flourishing 3.5-acre site in St Alban's boasting habitat, production and sensory spaces as well as a purpose-built eco-building! If you can’t make the Plant Sale and Open Garden on Saturday, May 19th members of the public are welcome to visit the site to buy produce from 9.30-15.00, Monday – Friday. 

Earthworks also run a number of other weekends open days throughout the year. Look out for them on their stall at the monthly St. Albans Farmers’ Market where they sell fruit, vegetables, herbs and crafts produced at Hixberry Lane.‚Äč