Current Project

  • At the end of 2019 the founders of BIG were approached by the committee of the Aisha Mosque and Islamic Centre in Reading, Berkshire, to help transform the overgrown natural area surrounding the building. Work commenced in February 2020.

    Our aims with this project are to clean up and restore a space that has become neglected, turning it into an area both of functionality, growing edibles, and of beauty. The direction of our work has been guided by feedback we have received from Dave Richards, a member of RISC, for whose expertise and support we are deeply grateful.

    It is our hope that this will become a garden which can be enjoyed by all members of the local community in the years to come, irrespective of their faiths and beliefs.

Plants available for sponsor

If you would like to sponsor any of the following, do get in touch using the details at the bottom of the page. Prices are available on request.

  • Karaka Black blackberry
  • Reuben blackberry
  • Herbert blackberry x2
  • Goji berry
  • Viking chokeberry
  • Thornless boysenberry
  • Patriot blueberry
  • Whinham's gooseberry
  • Invicta gooseberry
  • Jostaberry
  • Thornless loganberry

Plus many more coming in 2021.

Plant fruit trees

17 oak garden beds at various heights. Plant climbing soft fruit and grapes along fenceline. Mount containers with strawberries between fenceposts. Plant softfruit (e.g. blackcurrant, gooseberry) underplanted with herbs.

Drinking fountain and herb garden

Create a sensory garden: lift canopy on small trees, lay winding path and underplant with layers. Add a bench and seating area.

Sitting area overlooking pond. To the pond, presently containing karp, introduce water lilies and other plants to complement existing iris

Side entrance to the mosque grounds

Islamic design garden

Islamic design garden

Plant elaeagnus evergreen hedging to create a natural fence

Scented plants at the mosque entrance

Trim existing trees. Create a pathway, and plant colourful plants visible from the windows

Clear overgrowth and create outdoor sitting area

Repair fencing. Plant rowan and crab apple trees

New cantilever canopy

Ramp to wheelchair beds. 2 disabled-acess raised garden beds. Canopy and shed

New ramp to Women's Entrance

New cantilever canopy. Additionally, form access to level landing at extrance in tarmac with road kerb edges

Relocate lamp post and remove tree. New below ground sewage pumping station. Ramp to allow wheelchair access to back of site

New footpath (tarmac) running down left sides of building. Gravel to gap between building

Prune existing trees

Build compost area and a wormery. Create a storage space for wood chipping and other materials intended for public use

  • Plant fruit trees

  • 17 oak garden beds at various heights. Plant climbing soft fruit and grapes along fenceline. Mount containers with strawberries between fenceposts. Plant softfruit (e.g. blackcurrant, gooseberry) underplanted with herbs.

  • Drinking fountain and herb garden

  • Create a sensory garden: lift canopy on small trees, lay winding path and underplant with layers. Add a bench and seating area.

  • Sitting area overlooking pond. To the pond, presently containing karp, introduce water lilies and other plants to complement existing iris

  • Side entrance to the mosque grounds

  • Islamic design garden

  • Islamic design garden

  • Plant elaeagnus evergreen hedging to create a natural fence

  • Scented plants at the mosque entrance

  • Trim existing trees. Create a pathway, and plant colourful plants visible from the windows

  • Clear overgrowth and create outdoor sitting area

  • Repair fencing. Plant rowan and crab apple trees

  • New cantilever canopy

  • Ramp to wheelchair beds. 2 disabled-acess raised garden beds. Canopy and shed

  • New ramp to Women's Entrance

  • New cantilever canopy. Additionally, form access to level landing at extrance in tarmac with road kerb edges

  • Relocate lamp post and remove tree. New below ground sewage pumping station. Ramp to allow wheelchair access to back of site

  • New footpath (tarmac) running down left sides of building. Gravel to gap between building

  • Prune existing trees

  • Build compost area and a wormery. Create a storage space for wood chipping and other materials intended for public use

Drop-in sessions have been cancelled due to COVID-19.

We are continuing to run the following pre-booked sessions:

Monday-Thursday, 9:30 - 11:30

Saturdays & Sundays: 10:00 - 12:00

If you would like to volunteer for one of these sessions, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or alternatively call us on 0118 391 5515. Thank you.

A BIG thank you to the groups who have planted bushes...

Fairtrade, NHS Berkshire, One Nation, Peace by Peace, Boswell Tree Surgeons, JS Arborcraft, Reading Community Learning Centre, That's Thames TV, Reading Mutual, Reading Refugee Support, Reading Red Boxing, Maiden Erlegh School, Ladies Networking Forum, Berkshire Women's Aid, Reading Eastern African Community, My Smile Foundation, The Zambia Society, the Berkshire Muslim Arab Community Association, Reading Quakers, and the Reading Italian community!

Useful links

Contact details

0118 391 5515  (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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