Our other projects

Our other projects

Bradwell Abbey Gardens

Working in partnership with Inter-Action MK who have offices with us, we were fortunate to receive an Awards for All grant in September 2018 to create 3 new gardens; a community garden growing produce, a sensory garden and a children’s garden. Inter-Action have been undertaking creative projects with people who face challenge since 1975 including folk with physical and learning disabilities, the homeless, Carers and those with mental health needs.

We were overwhelmed with the outpouring of volunteer support including from our own Green Gym, some of our own workers and local businesses to help us create the infrastructure for our community and sensory gardens. (The children's garden will be created with Young Carers later this year).

We already have gardeners from local residents, friends groups, the Mental health ward of the hospital just about ready for discharge, from a local drug rehab centre, isolated older Carers, young adults with Autism and people with learning difficulties building skills and confidence. In return for a plot, gardeners undertake jobs from the chalkboard and donate a percentage of produce to the local foodbank along with having a cuppa and a chance to socialise.

We have events where we sell plants and have run community creative workshops and outdoor Winter Workshops with local Special School students but plan to offer much more! We would love to work with gardeners from international and BAME groups to grow a range of plants from around the world in our second recently donated Polytunnel, so we can have cooking and sharing events.- and perhaps produce a cookbook. Just a quiet example of inclusion where you may be rubbing shoulders with a whole range of people as you tend your veg.

We plan to set up more formal gardening Clubs so gardeners can decide on events and activities and to provide a classroom/meeting room, get a compostable accessible loo and some solar power. We'd like to join the Allotment association. We want to have a stronger relationship with the foodbank to encourage their users to come and grow their own. Inter-Action are training young adult carers and others as mentors to young carers and others.

We plan to run a few events each year, led by our gardeners to help self-fund the clubs. We would like to offer sessions in the sensory garden for families who have young children with complex needs working alongside Artists. All this will take some time and we are always busy raising more funds to make it happen, but CDC and Inter-Action are here for the longterm and are thrilled to imagine that we can offer participation and projects to people not just for a few weeks or months but really for the future.

If you are interested in joining in with help for this project, please contact Director@mkcdc.org.uk

Bradwell Abbey and Me

In 2018 we received funding from Milton Keynes Council through their Sharing Culture programme to engage the Living Archive MK to train young carers in filming, photography and oral history techniques, with the aim of interviewing members of the public who enjoy our lovely medieval site. The interviews have led to phase 2 of the Project, the Woodland Walk, kindly funded by Santander. The Woodland Walk takes the interviews and images and, through the magic of resident artist, Liisa Clarke, has turned them into outdoor etchings and artworks, which have been placed in little nooks and crannies along the woodland walk for you to find. Will you find yourself?

Milton Keynes Community Foundation Enrichment Project

From 2019-20 we were fortunate enough to receive funding from the Milton Keynes Community Foundation to carry out a new education pilot programme with Special Educational Needs schools in Milton Keynes. Over the course of the year we worked closely with interested schools and held bespoke sessions on history, archiving, the New Town, wildlife, nature, outdoor art, animal care, and horticulture. The sessions were great fun for everyone involved, and we hope to be able to hold them again when lockdown is over! Do get in touch if you are interested in taking part!

NatureFest

In 2019 we received £10000 from the National Lottery Awards for All fund to carry out a year’s worth of outdoor activities, nature workshops, outdoor art and information installations, bird box trails. Garden growing and recycling activities as well as online nature journaling during lockdown. Have a walk through our woodland trail and see if you can spot some of the bird boxes you helped us paint! Or come and say hello to the ‘Guardian of the Garden’, our massive maybug installation!

Heritage Fund Resilience Grant

In 2019 we received £10000 form the National Heritage Fund to carry out a series of resilience activities. The idea was to hold a governance review, restructure where needed, and work towards a new business plan to open our wonderful site as a fully-functioning visitor attraction once conservation work has been completed! You will see some new interpretation panels around the site that were a direct result of the funding, as well as our lovely new information brochures. The grant was most welcome and has helped us plan ahead to our exciting future!

Historic England Conservation Grant

In 2018 Milton Keynes Council secured internal and Historic England funding to complete conservation works on our fourteenth-century chapel, and internal funding to complete conservation work on the farmhouse. The chapel now has its scaffolding off for the first time in many years and looks stunning! Works on the farmhouse have produced several significant historical finds, including the beautiful 12th century carving, pictured.

The Milton Keynes Colouring Book – Volume 1

In 2019 we secured funding from the Milton Keynes Heritage Association to produce the Milton Keynes Colouring Book Volume 1! Using original drawings for the new town of the Milton Keynes the colouring book is fun for all ages and has been a wonderful find during lockdown! Watch this space for volume 2! [link to the colouring book in the shop]

How to find us

Take a look at how to get in touch and where you can find us.

About Bradwell Abbey

Learn about Bradwell Abbey and The City Discovery Centre.

What's On

Take a look at events over the coming months at Bradwell Abbey.