Abbey Physic
Community Garden
Faversham, Kent

Abbey Physic Community Garden

Abbey Place, Faversham, Kent   ME13 7BG

Phone:  01795 539915


Registered Charity No: 1119456  Registered Company No: 06015188

Statement of intent

Abbey Physic Community Garden (APCG) is committed to creating a positive space for the local community and environment whilst minimising any negative impacts.  APCG will strive to ensure that the existence of the Garden and associated projects are sustainable.  APCG is an equal opportunities employer and organisation, and the nature and mission of the organisation is to be inclusive, fair, and to facilitate and open up further opportunities for community participation.  APCG believes that this fairness extends from within the Garden to the local community and to the global community.

What is sustainability?

For the purposes of this policy, ‘sustainability’ has been taken to mean securing a good quality of life for everyone now, and in the future.  This means that we will strive to have a positive impact on all people and the environment.  In addition to this we will look at all actions in, and associated with, the Garden and minimise any negative impacts they may have on all people (locally and globally) and the environment.

Food and drink

Food and drink for the garden will be Fair Trade, local, organic, free range and seasonal where possible.  This includes:

 Fair Trade and organic teas, coffee and sugar

 organic and locally made bread and biscuits

 locally made jams and other preserves (made in the garden when possible)

 organic and local milk

 meat for any barbecues should be locally sourced, organic and free range

 any fruit and vegetables should be sourced from within the garden where possible, and, when not possible, local, organic and Fair Trade.

A list of suppliers will be accessible by all employees, staff, members and committee members and will be kept in the pavilion.

Waste and procurement

When procuring and disposing of items and services, APCG will take into consideration the ethical standing of the organization, the locality and the impact it will have on people and the environment both locally and globally.  

Supporting local and ethical businesses helps to maintain local skills and provide jobs for the local community.  Businesses that support and supply products from Fair Trade and ethical producers help ensure that this is also the case around the world.  

By reducing the waste from the garden, and procuring sustainable products, we are minimising landfill and harmful methods of waste disposal.

With this in mind, APCG will:

 Procure items that are local, second-hand, recycled, peat-free, organic, biodegradable, Fairtrade, whichever is best applicable;

 Where possible, buying from independent and local suppliers is preferable, even if ethical products are not available (with the exception of organic compost and biodegradable cleaning products, as these are required for the safety of the gardeners and customers).  If they do not stock ethical products then asking them to do so will be more likely to get results than asking a multi national company;

 Gather seed, practice vegetative propagation and use perennial plants as much as possible to reduce the need for buying in new seeds and plants.

 Experiment with foods for a future;

 Compost all teabags, garden and vegetable waste and shredded paper on site;

 Re-use and recycle waste on site, including jam jars, Christmas cards, envelopes etc;

 Only print when necessary, print of both sides of the paper, re-use scrap paper that has only been printed/written on one side;

 Purchase products with as little packaging as possible, and with biodegradable or recyclable packaging;

 Recycle all waste where possible.

Biodiversity and gardening

APCG is a spray-free garden as it believes that the use of harmful chemicals should be avoided to protect plants, animals and humans.  As the Garden often receives donations of plants and materials or unknown origin, the Garden cannot be completely ‘organic’.  However, all compost, plants, seeds and perishables purchased and sought by the Garden will be organic.

The protection and promotion of a safe and diverse garden is vital to a thriving and varied environment.  APCG is a perfect haven for all manner of animals, plants and microorganisms.  We will strive to keep it that way.

We will:

 Grow disease resistant species suited to local soil and climate;

 Use companion planting to kill/repel pests, provide camouflage and store nutrients;

 Mix species to avoid monoculture;

 Rotate crops;

 Use weed suppressant ground covers;

 Make plant derived fungicides, pesticides, herbicides;

 Use the above in moderation and only as allowed by organic certifiers;

 Compost is to be produced in the garden and when it is necessary to buy in additional compost, organic and peat-free compost will be used;

 Only use fresh compost in the greenhouse and will not bring in soil from outside.  This will help prevent contamination and disease;

 Take wildlife into consideration when gardening and will maintain safe habitats for animals and insects within the garden;

 Predominantly grow local and British species to encourage wildlife into the garden and provide for their needs.

Energy and water

APCG believes that we all have a responsibility to reduce the amount of resources we use.  As an environmental and social charity we feel that we should be leading the way in water and energy saving. By using the garden as an example, we can educate other members of the community in how to live equitably now, without jeopardising a good quality of life in the future for ourselves and others.

APCG appreciates that water is a scarce commodity and will seek to minimise the amount of mains water used.  To do this it will:

 Collect and store rainwater using water butts and rain water harvestings systems where possible;

 Recycle all grey water used from the sink, for the garden (all cleaning products in the garden will be biodegradable and organic)

 Use drought tolerant plants;

 Use mulches in the garden;

 Use our water-free composting toilet.

With fossil fuel reserves depleting rapidly, and the use of them contributing to excess levels of CO2, APCG understands the need to minimise its’ energy consumption and use renewable energy sources where possible.  It will:

 Work towards using a renewable energy provider for the electricity used in the garden;

 Seek information on the feasibility of using solar or wind energy to heat the water used for washing up;

 Purchase the most energy efficient equipment when new equipment is necessary;

 Minimise the use of electrical lighting and computer use in the garden;

 Use garden waste to fuel the clay oven.

Community and local well-being

APCG believes in increasing opportunities for participation from all members of the community, particularly those who are socially isolated or face barriers to participation.  APCG also follows the idea that a more cohesive community provides a greater sense of well-being.

APCG strives to increase local well-being and community participation in it’s work.  It will:

 Maximise visual delight;

 Grow and provide healthy produce grown in accordance with organic principles

 Ensure that all members have a voice and equal say in the workings of the garden and associated activities;

 Reach out into the Faversham Community and extend planting and information sharing beyond the garden gates;

 APCG will seek to form partnerships and hold partnership events with other groups and organizations in Faversham.  This will include schools, charities, businesses, community groups and local authority;

 No dig cultivation techniques will be explored and used where this is most beneficial for the gardeners involved;

 All garden tasks will be adapted to the individual, and all gardeners will be given the choice of which tasks they undertake in the garden;

 Support will be given to gardeners, where necessary, if they wish to undertake a project or activity they need assistance with.


APCG encourages the use of public transport, walking, or bicycle where possible.  However, APCG understands that, due to the additional problems some members face, this is not always possible.  When cars must be used, APCG encourages car sharing.


APCG adopts both a positive and negative ethical funding position.  

In the first instance, we will seek funding from organisations that support the following:

 Community cohesion and skill sharing

 Inclusion and participation

 Environmental protection and conservation

 Renewable energy

 Fair Trade and human rights

 Healthy eating

 Equality and diversity

 Mental health promotion and support

 Emotional, mental and physical well-being

APCG will avoid seeking funding from organisations who support the following:

 The arms trade and weapons manufacture

 Animal testing and/or factory farming

 The tobacco industry

 Slave, child and cheap labour

 Oppressive regimes and violation of human rights

 Irresponsible marketing

 Nuclear power

 Genetic engineering

However, APCG recognises that the existence of the Garden is important to, and is relied upon by, its’ members and the local community, and continuing to exist is its’ main priority. With the current economic climate, and funding becoming more difficult to obtain, APCG will seek funding from organisations contradicting the above statements if necessary.

8.  Implementation and monitoring

Responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of this policy lies with the Committee.  The APCG Manager will review the policy annually, or more frequently is the need arises, and will present changes to the committee as appropriate.

The APCG Committee and staff will provide talks, advice, courses and workshops around the issues and points made above to increase understanding of the policy.  If a committee member, employee, member or volunteer is unsure whether they will be breaching this policy, they should seek advice from a Manager before taking action.

Policy was agreed on:   28 March 2013

Policy reviewed: 20 April 2016

Policy to be reviewed on:   20 April 2017

Our sustainability Policy…