Graphic illustration of plant pots with daisies and a sunflower. Big green text sits in left hand top corner and reads, Give & Grow with description beneath which reads, Give us your unwanted plants and seeds and we'll grow them for use in newcastle's parks. Black Urban Green Newcastle logo sits in top right hand corner

Our Community Gardeners here at Urban Green Newcastle are inviting the local community to donate any unused/spare seeds (in packets), labelled cuttings and potted outdoor plants to be recycled and re-used in Newcastle’s parks with our new Give & Grow scheme.

Instead of shipping in plants from across the country, we’d like to lower our carbon footprint by increasing the amount we grow locally and use in the city’s parks to support biodiversity and add a boost of colour this Spring and Summer.

Give & Grow allows you to really be a part of the city’s urban green landscape by donating plants and flowers to be grown throughout the parks. Whether you’re a complete novice gardener or expertly green-fingered, if you’ve got spare plants to share or you’ve dug out some unwanted seeds during a Spring clear out of your shed, you can now drop these off at one of our designated drop off points to help us breathe new life into the city’s green spaces.

We are looking for a biodiverse, mood-boosting mix of herbaceous perennials, annuals and shrubs that you no longer have space for or can spare to plant in beds and borders around the city’s parks. We’ll be planting with the birds, bees, butterflies and local residents in mind.

We have two drop off points; one outside the Jesmond Dene Visitor Centre opposite Pets’ Corner and one outside our Rangers’ lodge at the entrance to Heaton Park. Here you can drop off any seeds, seedlings or fully fledged plants that you’d like to see bloom across the city’s parks and our Community Gardeners will cultivate and plant them across the green spaces in our care, adding new textures and colours to Newcastle’s urban green landscape.

Our Ranger and Community Gardener team have been working hard to enhance our in-house growing facilities for plants in the parks. With the addition of a new poly-tunnel, we are committed to increasing the volume of plants and flowers grown in-house to be distributed across the city’s green spaces in order to reduce our carbon footprint. Sometimes, where we might also have some extra plants grown throughout the estate, you’ll be able to swap your donations, taking a little bit of Newcastle’s parks home with you!

The Give & Grow scheme will operate on an honesty basis, so please can we ask that you act respectfully when swapping plants and leave some for others too. Unfortunately, there are some plants that aren’t so friendly when allowed to grow wild, so please refer to our Terms and Conditions below to find out which plants we are unable to accept.

‘Give & Grow’ Terms and Conditions

  • Please drop plants off at Jesmond Dene Visitors Centre or Heaton Park Lodge on designated, signposted plant stall stands. 
  • Please do not donate anything that you know has signs of pests or disease to avoid introducing this into the park. Our team will check and monitor any donated plants for signs of pests and disease, or anything that may be poisonous to animals and children (as per the HTA recommendations: https://hta.org.uk/potentiallyharmfulplants). Any plants found displaying such signs will be safely disposed of. Additionally, all donated plants will undergo a period of quarantine before being used in our parks and green spaces
  • Please only donate seeds which are fully labelled and in a sealed envelope or packet. A waterproof container will be provided at both drop off stations to put these in.
  • Please only donate plants or seeds which you have access to on your own property or allotment. We do not advocate taking plants from other community or public areas. 
  • We recognise the introduction of non-native invasive plants can have on existing ecosystems by outcompeting native plants either by habitat change or by spreading so rapidly as to crowd out slower growing species, threatening the long-term survival of species.

    Where possible, we particularly welcome plants which are considered native to the British Isles that provide a welcome boost for pollinators. A full list of suggestions can be found at https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/types/trees/native-tree-shrubs. It is UGN policy to avoid using plants known to be invasive, especially in the case of non-native aquatic species.

Photograph of flowering beds in one of Newcastle's parks.