How does our community garden grow?

Early in June, a group of community volunteers spent a Sunday morning in the garden digging out the rosebay willow herb in preparation for sowing wildflower seeds.

Erica, Andy, Neil, Jon, Jonny and Ahmed digging for Palatine in early June πŸ™‚

Thanks to Jonny, Ahmed, Neil, Janine, Andy, Jon and Erica for pitching up and clearing spaces to make way for flowers. People generally seem really heartened when they see our slow but steady garden progress.

Last weekend, Janine worked with Jonny and Cameron to dig out and rake the central plot so that David Redmore could come and sow wild flower seeds. This should mean that in twelve weeks or so, our garden will be a festival of colour…Watch this space!

David Redmore sowing wildflower seeds in his Sunday best on Sunday 27th June. Good raking work Jonny and Cameron!

Working Party – Sunday 4th July 10:00 – 12:00

There is still more work to be done in the garden – On Sunday 4th July 10:00 – 12:00, we’ll be meeting again in the garden to take out some of the more invasive grasses (which will inhibit growth of flowers) and those massive, thuggish brambles. Why don’t you join us? Just bring your loppers and forks. It’s hard work but very rewarding.

More good news! In a couple of weeks’ time, the City Council is coming to firm up the path through the garden by adding edging and crushed limestone, so we’ll have a proper structure to work with in there. It’s going to look lovely isn’t it?!

The Palatine Projects Pathway To Happiness :)

In the middle of October, the Palatine Projects welcomed 12 young people from the Prince’s Trust Volunteers to Palatine. Their mission was to help us pull out all the buddleia, brambles and silver birch saplings and to begin to dig out a woodland path through our community garden area.

Thankfully, the weather was kind. It was lovely to see so many members of the community coming by to see what was going on and to offer encouragement. We even received a home-made cake to keep everyone’s energy levels up! We worked with the young people and project workers Charlie and Lily from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service for 8 days. It was heavy work as the whole court is full of root systems which have been growing for the last decade. You need to watch the film below to see the extensive lopping, chopping and digging which went on down there. Since the film, the young people have transferred loads of earth that they’d dug to form the pathway and created a path slope which comes down from Palatine Avenue into the garden. It looks fab!

The City Council is now going to help us by coming and putting a more permanent surface down to define the space. They are hopeful that that work can be carried out in early December so we can invite the Prince’s Trust Volunteers back to see how the space is coming along. The Council have been very supportive over the last couple of weeks, supplying us with a range of tools, gloves and wheelbarrows! Thanks πŸ™‚

Once the young people had finished the path clearance, they also planted bulbs around the garden which were funded by the Palatine Projects and the City Council. By spring we should be seeing some real colour in that garden.

A fortnight’s digging was hard work! It was exhausting! However, in these COVID days, it was also lovely to be working with other people in a safe outdoor space. We all got fitter and had something really good to show from the fruits of our work together.

If you would like to know when we are having more working parties at Palatine, sign up to our mailing list and get involved! Once you’ve broken through the pain barrier, it’s really good fun! Contact Us

If you want to find out more about the Prince’s Trust Volunteers, check out their website –

During the fortnight, Duncan Moore came over from the Beyond Radio Studio to interview the young people about the work they had been doing to improve the site. It went out during his lunchtime show – have a listen below. Thanks Duncan πŸ™‚

Prince’s Trust Volunteers Lend A Hand!

A few weeks ago, we applied to the Prince’s Trust Volunteers to see if they would come and sort out the pathway through the community nature garden. Last Thursday, they called us to let us know that our application had been successful and we are their chosen community project for this autumn!

This means that over the next couple of weeks, the Prince’s Trust Volunteers will be pitching up to help us to build the pathway through the garden from Palatine onto Palatine Avenue.

Today was their first day – and we welcomed them in the rain! Did they let a bit of rain put them off though? Did… They… Not…

As soon as they arrived, they picked up their spades, rakes and sheers (supplied at very short notice by the City Council – thanks Stef!) and they cracked on with lopping, chopping and digging. The good news is, they will be back again tomorrow and for the next couple of weeks πŸ™‚ So if you happen to be walking through Palatine, come and say ‘hello’ and see what they’re up to. They’re a friendly bunch and we are really grateful that they are coming to help improve the space.

This is the first of several outdoor projects which will be happening at Palatine over the next couple of months (COVID restrictions permitting). In fact it feels like the right time for projects at Palatine to capitalise on the fact that working in the great outdoors is the safest and easier thing to do right now. I can safely say that a couple of hours of working with other people, even in the rain, is a great way to lift your mood… for free… πŸ™‚

What is the Prince’s Trust Programme?

The Prince’s Trust Programme is run in conjunction with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service. It offers a 12 week full-time course to young people aged 16-25 and is aimed at improving confidence, motivation and skills. It is available for both unemployed and employed young people, it includes work experience, careers advice, qualifications, challenging projects, community action and an action-packed team building week-long residential. Find out more at

Blessed are the cake makers…!

We’ve worked again today to rake up some of the brambles and budleia branches and just finish clearing the space in preparation for the next phase which will be the installation of the pathway which creates a woodland walk through the space onto Palatine Avenue.

Despite the icy gale force winds, we kept going and realised that raking is a lot more physical than lopping and chopping! So when the cakes arrived during our break, they were very welcome πŸ™‚ Thanks to our bakers and to Rebecca who nipped home to brew up for everyone! It was good to meet more new volunteers today πŸ™‚

So, watch this space for our next working party in the nature area. and if you have anything to contribute to the Palatine Projects in terms of starting up a little project (even if it’s erecting bird boxes on the silver birches), let us know and if we can, we’ll call for more help!

Rakes and Cakes Session!

Sunday 1st March 2020 at 10:30 – 12:00

We’ve checked the weather and there is a big Sun shining over Lancaster next Sunday, so come and join us at the top court on Palatine to indulge in a free cardio-vascular workout whilst improving our area!!

As you’ll see from the picture, we have summoned up our finest Photoshop skills to show you the vision of the pathway which will eventually run through the court and onto Palatine Avenue. That’s just the start though: Just imagine a bit of seating, some wildflowers, bird boxes, insect hotels – the list goes on and on…:)

What we would like to do:

  • Rake the area and just get rid of the last bits of brambles
  • Dig up those tree stumps

How can you help? (it’s simple actually)

  • Rock up with a rake or a big axe
  • get digging and raking
  • bring a cake (optional but always good for morale!)

Since last week, the City Council has been and chipped all of the things that were chopped down and they’ve helped us with the access point from the site onto Palatine.

Slowly, but surely, it’s all heading in the right direction πŸ™‚ Come and join in!

If you would like to receive updates of events and working sessions at Palatine, sign up to our mailing list here

Seeing the Wood for the Trees @ Palatine

Seeing the Wood for the Trees @ Palatine

Thanks to the small, but perfectly formed group of loppers and choppers who pitched up this morning to help with some woodland management at the top court at Palatine.

First thing, there was a bit of rain, but then the sun shone down on us all. This is very fortunate as it seems as though there has been nothing but rain for every weekend this year! If that weren’t enough, it seems that Storm Ellen will be visiting tomorrow, so this window of good weather has served us well.

Thanks also to Andy, one of the City Council Rangers who brought a range of amazing hand tools with him. The good thing about going and working on the land is that it’s an opportunity to chat with people about just what’s possible. And there was a lot of chatting.

It’s hard to believe that until David Redmore, our landscape designer and friend, came along with his chainsaw and worked with us to thin out the area about four winters ago, that this space was completely impenetrable. Back then, the only way we were able to access the space was to crawl in on our hands and knees! Now, it’s an open, light space – and the silver birch look quite magnificent in there.

What Next?

Now the preliminary cut back is done, we’d like to meet again to rake through the area. The City Council are going to help us to forge a path through the wood onto Palatine Avenue using materials which are sympathetic to the natural environment. Then comes the fun bit of putting in some wild flowers, seats and bird boxes

What can you do to help?

Well, you can just come and get involved – there’s always a job to do! If you are a dab hand at making bird boxes, then you could could get building and installing them. If you don’t think you’ve got the physical strength to join in, come and bring cake for the workers! If you’ve got an axe, there’s a number of tree stumps which are still standing proud which need taking out. It’s slow progress, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we really get a sense that we are building something strong community foundations.

We actually enjoyed ourselves – sign up to our mailing list and come and join us next time πŸ™‚ You’re very welcome.


You don’t have to be this good to join Palatine Bowling Team (but it would help the team if you were!) Although in Lancashire, on our outdoor greens, we have a crown to contend with too!


This coming season, the Palatine Bowling Club has entered two teams into the local bowling leagues: One team will play on a Tuesday night in the Lancaster League and the other will play on Wednesdays as part of the Morecambe League.

We are inviting new players to come and join us. So if you want to find out more, come to our meeting…


For the last two seasons we have fielded a team in the Lancaster League. When we started only one member of our team had ever played before. There are ten players in a team and we all soon improved. Bowling is surprisingly good fun, sociable and is definitely something which you can improve at with practice. Also, you’re never too old to learn! Throughout the season, we have regular team practices on Monday evenings.

So do please come along and find out more on Monday at Barton Road Centre πŸ™‚

If you want to know more, email

The Beavers at Palatine

The Beavers were fun to work with and were full of enthusiasm and competitiveness on the green. It was so lovely to see the whole space so alive with activities. We hope that they will come back in the spring!

On Monday and Tuesday last week, the Monday and Tuesday Beavers Groups from St Paul’s came along to play at Palatine!

40 children tried their hands (and feet!) at football, tennis and crown green bowls. Members of the Palatine Bowling Club came along and did some coaching. It was a very busy couple of evenings.


Things are taking shape on the tennis courts at Palatine. On Thursday evening, a crack team of six painters and pruners turned up and spent a good couple of hours working on the site. They painted nearly all of the boards around the tennis courts and pruned the pyracantha which has been growing through and potentially damaging the fencing. By the time they had finished, the Sun had set and darkness had fallen!

On Friday morning, Lancaster City Council’s Cleansing Team came over and cleared away the great big pile of branches which had been lopped and chopped and there we were – Job done!

Little by little it’s all getting better and better.

We have now nearly painted our way back round to the beginning – so far it’s taken about four hours’ work which isn’t bad going.

If you would like to be part of the next working party (which will be arranged and announced at very short notice due to our constantly changing weather conditions), sign up to the mailing list.

Get involved.

It’s all good πŸ™‚


Last week, we had such a good do at our junior bowling taster session that we thought we’d do it all over again!

  • When? Monday 19th August 2019
  • Time? 2:30 – 4:00pm
  • Where? Palatine Bowling Green

This is a free session to juniors and will be run by our very own PCSO David Owen who is a qualified bowling coach. Dave will bring target mats and bowls and will introduce you to the beautiful game which is crown green bowling!

Let’s make crown green bowls cool at Palatine! Why not?

See you Monday πŸ™‚