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The Courtyard



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The courtyard Garden


The Courtyard Garden is situated between the Green Shop, the Energy Room and the One Planet exhibition room at the Alternative Technology Centre (ATC). Our little jewel of a garden has been developed for many reasons. It is a south facing sunny oasis in a crowded built up area, squeezed in between the canal and the river. Formerly a neglected courtyard, this and the adjoining towpath now serve many purposes:


        Pleasant area for people in the work units.

        Resting place for visitors and passing walkers.

        Productive food and craft garden for the centre.

        Space to raise plants for sale.

        Access to the work units.

It is also an excellent place to demonstrate what can be done with small spaces and odd bits of land, providing plenty of inspiration and education.


Many sustainable techniques have been used

        Use of reclaimed materials e.g. the lock gate planters seats and signs for the dog poo poems.

        Growth of food and craft materials for the ATC.

        Worm composting. It's quicker and smaller than a heap.

        Plants grown for sale provide income for the ATC.

        Making use of an undervalued space.

Minimum input for maximum output (Low maintenance)

        A rainwater watering system is to be installed to cut down on water use and time.

        Perennials only have to be planted once un-like annuals that have a short life span.

        Companion plants are beneficial in many ways from reducing pests to providing essential nutrients.






Space saving (something we don't have too much of!)

        Containers with trees, wild flowers to feed the pest eaters, fruit and salads

        Vertical gardening - wall planters & hanging baskets

        Wormery – A type of compost bin that contains special worms which turn kitchen waste into rich compost


Work with Nature and what you've got

·        Shade loving plants - for the corners where the sun doesn't shine!

·        Small garden with lots of wall - which retains the solar gain (the heat from the sun) for tender plants at night.

·        Sheltered - better growing conditions.

·        Wild flowers on the towpath - increases biodiversity (number of different species) by planting mainly natives and non natives suited to the environment.


Closing cycles

Instead of putting organic materials into landfill, composting returns them to the soil to feed next years plants which will in turn can be composted... so that the potential waste becomes an asset.




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Alternative Technology Centre, Hebble End Mill, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 6HJ  Tel. 01422 842121