Bournville Substation Community Garden

We have met with WPDUK’s representative and agreed upon the planting scheme inspired by the feedback given to us by local residents across various mediums (in person, paper, social media etc).

We also asked if we could garner funding for it, if they would be open to us commissioning a mural on the blank wall of the substation – this request is currently being looked into.

You can view our planting plan here in PDF form.

WPDUK want to have a quiet meeting about the plans for the garden and have asked us to prepare for this by meeting the community seperately first.
We have therefore now, thanks to Sustainable Stirchley have planned to meet up on 28th Sep at Artefact @ 5:30pm. Please come along to have your say in the planting program, agreement with WPDUK and future for this garden!


We will continue to update this page as developments progress.

On the 14th August we noticed something horrifying. The tended (but overdue a bit of weeding) community garden outside the Bournville substation on maryvale road had been hacked down to the ground, sparing only the small section surrounding the bench.

We posted it to our social media channels #notsurewhy.


We had a terrific response to it, as many local residents, groups involved with the garden and local businesses were a bit shocked that the garden had been removed without warning. 

We got in touch with Western Power Distribution who own the substation to find out more.

It turns out the space was being cleared due to invasive ivy wreaking structural damage to the wall and the double issue of needing to erect scaffolding on that wall to repair the damage caused. This was part of an entire building overhaul due to the age of the building.

I spoke with a representative of WPD who was very apologetic about the whole affair. They had no formal agreement in place regarding the land and were not aware it was a tended community space. They are eager to remedy the situation and help us rebuild the garden once more.


They expect the scaffolding to come down around 24th august, at which point they will start work clearing the ground properly ready for replanting. At this point we are able to invite them to a community meeting to discuss planting arrangements at their expense. For obvious reasons, invasive and climbing plants will be prohibited. 

We think this is a real opportunity to get something official happening in this space with WPD’s backing, and keep the spirit of this space alive. 


So we want to hear from YOU. 

  • Have you had involvement in the planting or weeding of this space before? (and send us your logos and stories!)
  • Would you like to be involved in future?
  • Do you represent a community group or organisation that has an interest in this space?
  • Do you have ideas to share for this space, plants you want included? Should this be pretty/edible/both?
  • Would you like to talk to the WPD about this? Share your views? Find out what’s happening next?

Send us an email to along with your contact details to make sure you don’t miss out or tell us more about how you were involved, or what you would like put forward for consideration next.

Follow us on facebook/twitter/instagram (suslifeuk) to stay updated on progress day by day!

19 August 2019 @ 6:20am


  • The community Garden was started by a lady called Brenda, who is now no longer living in Stirchley. She established the first bushes and flowers there voluntarily.
  • Stirchley Primary School have also done voluntary work with the children in this community space
  • Stirchley in Bloom #stirchleyinbloom have worked on this community garden since 2018 on their volunteer weeding days around Stirchley high street. If you want to get involved in their volunteering sessions you can sign up to their newsletter here. 
    stirchley in bloom
  • Sustainable Life contacted WPD about the garden space when we noticed it was removed for regeneration work (discovered on twitter by Chris). We are facilitating the re-establishment of the garden plants and liaison with WPD and we hope to help and work with existing volunteers and community groups to keep it in bloom for years to come.