FREE Bike Health Check at Braehead Community Garden

Dr Bike repair in action
Give your bike a FREE health check at a “Dr Bike” session

Braehead Community Development Trust have teamed up with the Stirling Cycle Hub and Recyke-a-bike to offer “Dr Bike” sessions at Braehead Community Garden.  Bring your bike along to give it a FREE health check to get you back on the road again for Spring.  Everybody who takes part will also get a FREE set of lights, maps and cycle advice.

You’ll also be able to tour the community garden and find out about membership for 2018 – and visit our chickens, see our “Men’s Shed” workshop, our orchard and much more.

Drop in sessions are from 4pm-6pm on Thursday 1st February, Thursday 15th February, Thursday 1st March and Thursday 15th March.

Men’s Shed for Braehead Community Garden

A Men’s Shed will be opening in Stirling in January 2018.  Braehead Community Garden has joined the Men’s Shed movement and converted a shipping container into a workshop.   A public meeting is being held on Wednesday 17 January for any interested local “shedders”. Volunteers are in the process of kitting it out with all sort of tools for making and mending all sorts of things.

Braehead & Broomridge Community Development Trust has secured funding to open a “Men’s Shed” at Braehead Community Garden in 2018.

The Men’s Shed Movement originated in Australia in the 1990s and has since spread worldwide.  Men’s Sheds are similar to garden sheds – they are a place to pursue practical interests at leisure, to practice skills and enjoy making and mending.  The difference is that garden sheds and their activities are often solitary in nature, while Men’s Sheds are the opposite.  They’re about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge, and of course a lot of laughter.

Volunteers at Braehead Community Garden have already converted one of the garden’s large shipping containers into a workshop and secured funding to purchase tools, thanks to a grant from Foundation Scotland and Stirling Council’s Community Pride Fund.

Organisers are holding a meeting for interested “Shedders” later this month, with the Shed opening in February.  Initially there will be a weekly two-hour drop-in workshop, but once shedders know what they’re doing, they’ll be able to access the workshop whenever they wish.   Membership of the Shed will be just £12 per year.

Shedders can work on their own projects or get involved with community projects, helping maintain green spaces or building things for schools, libraries or individuals in need. Activities in Sheds vary greatly depending on what activities shedders wish to pursue, but could include woodworking, metalworking, repairing and restoring, electronics or model building.   Sheds attract people of all age and skill levels.

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Men’s Shed men: volunteer Jim Kirk, who coordinated the shed conversion, with Trustee Chris Kane

Braehead Community Garden Trustee, and Stirling East Councillor, Chris Kane, says,

“We already know from other men’s sheds around Scotland that men who are involved report living healthier, happier and more connected lives.   Loneliness and isolation can be as hazardous to our health as inactivity or smoking, and men typically find it more difficult to build social connections than women, particularly when they’re older and retired.  Sheds are about meeting like-minded people, having fun, sharing skills and gaining a renewed sense of purpose and belonging.  Braehead Community Garden is already a great social focus within the community and opening a Men’s Shed is a logical next step.  I can’t wait to see what friendships form and creations emerge from this project.”

Read more from Chris on the Men’s Shed Project

While the focus will initially be on starting a Men’s Shed, organisers hope that if there is a demand, that a “Woman’s Shed” and a “Mixed Shed” will follow shortly. Shedders will automatically become members of Braehead Community Garden, allowing them to take part  in the many social and community events held throughout the year.  Shedders do not have to live in Braehead to join.

Potential Shedders are invited to find out more at a public meeting, held in Braehead Community Garden’s clubhouse, on Wednesday 17th January at 7.30pm.   There will also be a drop-in event at the garden workshop on Tuesday 23rd January from 10am-noon.

The shed is always on the lookout for good quality tools – if you’ve any to donate, please email

For more information on the Men’s Shed movement, log onto the UK Association’s website or the Scottish Association’s website.

Second Annual Braehead Pumpkin Festival a spooky success

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Nearly 300 people enjoyed a spooky Halloween fun-day at Braehead Community Garden on Saturday 28th October.  The second Braehead Pumpkin Festival  started with a pumpkin carving workshop in the morning, with local children and their parents undertaking the messy business of scooping out the innards of their pumpkins ready for carving.

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Serious pumpkin carving activities!

Then with the help of some of Braehead Community Garden’s more artistic members, everybody set about creating some scary or funny or artistic lanterns.

halloween 4The discarded pumpkin flesh and seeds weren’t put to waste with Garden member Donna Rodgers, who also works for local charity Forth Enviroment Link, running a cooking workshop.  Participants made spiced and roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin curry and pumpkin soup.

Donna helping Patsy, Katie and Fiona make some tasty soup.
Donna helping Patsy, Katie and Fiona make some tasty soup.

All of the lanterns made at the workshop, along with pumpkins carved at home across the area, were entered into the after pumpkin show, with prizes for the scariest, funniest and most artistic creations.  There were also awards for the best pumpkin carved by an under ten year old, an under fifteen year old, and best pumpkin that references a movie.

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Then, as the sun began to set, the pumpkins were all lit up for a lantern display in the Community Garden event polytunnel.  Two hundred people came to the garden to see the fantastic creations, enjoy some homemade soup and try traditional Halloween activities including “dookin’ for apples”.   Many Braehead Primary School pupils walked in a lantern procession from the school to the community garden.

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Community Garden Chairperson Chris Kane said,

halloween 7“Carving pumpkin lanterns and cooking together are great family activities, which are even more fun when turned into community events.  The carving workshop was messy and creative and fun.  The cooking workshop showed you don’t need to waste anything and the lantern display at night looked stunning.”  

“Here in Braehead we’re showing that communities who create together and grow together, can thrive together.”

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Braehead Community Garden runs a number of free community events throughout the year.  Membership, and year round access to the two and a half acre garden, costs just £12 per year.  

Even the Braehead flock of hens got to enjoy some of the pumpkins!
Even the Braehead flock of hens got to enjoy some of the pumpkins!