Braehead Pumpkin Festival a great success

Local residents turned out in force at the weekend for the first ever Braehead Pumpkin Festival. Organised by the local Community Development Trust, there were over 100 pumpkins on display as night fell over Braehead Community Garden.

Pumpkin Carving & Cooking

The day started much earlier, with people invited to attend a pumpkin carving workshop in the morning. Held in the garden’s huge covered polytunnel event space, families came together to create their decorative Halloween lanterns.


With the Community Garden’s ethos firmly fixed in helping people lead healthy lives with a great relationship with locally produced fresh food, none of the discarded pieces of pumpkin were binned. A cooking workshop was held with the help of local environmental charity Forth Environment Link, with participants making cakes, soups and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Lantern Festival

Then, with the skies darkening, the gates of the garden were thrown open and residents were invited in to see the carved pumpkins, all illuminated with colour changing candles. Prizes were awarded to the funniest, scariest and movie-reference pumpkins, along with awards for pumpkins carved by (supervised!) children under 10 years old and under 15 years old. Laid out as a walk around the garden and through the Polytunnels, at the end everyone was offered teas and coffees and kids were invited to “dook for apples”


Organiser, and Community Garden Chairman, Chris Kane said,

“What a fabulous way to bring the community together to celebrate the end of the growing season. I was impressed by the pumpkin carving skills and it was great to see families working together on scary creations.  Then there is something deeply satisfying about going on to toast the seeds rather than chuck them into the recycling box.   Our lantern show was simply stunning, with lots of scary faces and designs twinkling away under ever changing lights.”

“Volunteering in your community can be fun and it doesn’t have to take up too much time; everybody who carved a pumpkin added to the magic of the night, meaning we had over 100 people help make our first pumpkin show a huge success.”


In total, over 200 people attended the events and Chris and his team are already planning for next year’s event. Chris added,

“Events like this fairly fire up the imagination.  All night people have been suggesting different elements for next year  – from a garden ghost walk to scary tales in our kids’ outdoor story circle. Next year’s event is going to be even bigger and better!”

Become a Member of Braehead Community Garden

Braehead Community Garden is a Big Lottery funded facility on Broom Road. Along with community activities, members can also hire raised beds to grow their own fruit and vegetables both outdoors and in the three 66ft polytunnels on site. There are still some beds available to hire now; contact for more information.


Braehead Pumpkin Festival


On Saturday 29th October, Braehead Community Garden will be holding its first ever Pumpkin Festival – and you and your family are invited to join in the fun.

Pumpkin Carving Workshop.  11am-1pm

If your carving skills stop at triangles for noses and circles for eyes, then bring your pumpkin to our PUMPKIN CARVING WORKSHOP between 11am and 1pm.  We’ll have carving kits, templates and some artistic volunteers to help you create a pumpkin lantern to impress.

The event is FREE for Garden Access Pass holders and their children, £2 for non-members.  Don’t forget to bring your own pumpkin!

Pumpkin Cookery Workshop.  1pm-2pm

Ever wondered if you could do something with the leftover pumpkin after a carving session?  Come along to our cookery workshop and get some inspiration for recipes and then help creating delightful dishes!  Free for members, £2 for non-members.  Places are limited and this event MUST be booked by emailing .

This workshop is being run by local charity Forth Environment Link.

Pumpkin Show (entries to be submitted at Community Garden between 1.30pm and 3pm)

Enter your carved pumpkin into our PUMPKIN SHOW and you could win a prize in one of our show categories.  Hand your entry into the garden and we’ll judge the best, before showing all pumpkins in the evening lantern show.  All pumpkins can be picked up on Sunday 30th between 1pm and 2pm.  You can enter in any or all of the following categories:

  • Scariest Pumpkin
  • Funniest Pumpkin
  • Best Pumpkin that references a Movie
  • Best Pumpkin carved by a (supervised) under-10 year old
  • Best Pumpkin carved by a (supervised) under-15 year old

The winners will be announced and on display at the lantern festival.

Pumpkin Lantern Festival.  5.30pm-7.30pm

Come join us in the garden for a dazzling pumpkin lantern show.  All of the pumpkins entered into our show will be lined up and lighting up the darkness in a spooky show of the best and scariest pumpkins in Stirling.  We’ll also be dooking for apples and having some other fun Halloween activities in our Polytunnel.  Entry is by donation.  Teas, coffees and home baking will also be available.

Braehead Gardeners celebrate successful season with Flower Show


Provost Mike Robbins with some of this year’s winners

Braehead Community Garden has held its first Flower and Plant Show, with members joined by amateur growers from around Stirling to show off the fruit, vegetables and flowers they’ve grown this summer.  Over 220 entries were received across 50 classes, with entrants showing everything from giant onions to homemade jams and cakes.

Winning the inaugural “Braehead Cup” for most points accrued across all categories was Community Garden member Elaine Lewis.  Elaine said, “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I walked into the show hall and saw my name on the prize board.  I’ve never entered a flower show but this was great fun and I can’t wait until next year to do it all again!”

Elaine’s daughter Cora also picked up a prize in the children’s category, which had sections including “best cupcakes” and “best miniature garden on a plate”.

Elaine Lewis & daughter Cora
Elaine Lewis & daughter Cora

Provost Mike Robbins was on hand to present the prizes to the winners on the day.  Braehead Community Garden Chairman Chris Kane said, “We’ve all been working hard on this show for a  number of months now and to see over 200 people come through the gate either with entries or just to visit and see what we’ve been growing in Braehead and in gardens across Stirling was wonderful, especially in our first year.  There are so many wonderful Flower Shows across the area and I hope Braehead can grow and improve and be a worthy addition to the local calendar of events”

Braehead Community Garden is now in its second year of operation, with local residents able to join and grow their own food in raised beds and take part in the many different social events, workshops and classes offered throughout the year.