Community benefits from innovative polytunnel made from plastic bottles


Winthorpe Road Community Garden, located in the grounds of The Church of Promise in Newark, has recently unveiled an exciting project that not only brings the community together but also has a positive impact on the environment.

Thanks to funding of £534 from Veolia and Nottinghamshire County Council's Reduce, Reuse, Recycling Fund last year, the community group has been able to buy tools and materials to build a plastic bottle polytunnel, opening up new opportunities for vegetable gardening for the whole community.

The polytunnel, which is wheelchair accessible and will form part of an on-site nature walkway, is constructed from recycled plastic bottles and is a result of collaborative efforts from the local community. Previously, limited resources on-site made it challenging to grow vegetables from seed, especially during the winter months. However, thanks to the hundreds of empty plastic bottles donated by the local community and the work of volunteers, the group can grow a variety of vegetables.

Sue Goodman, Chair of Winthorpe Road Community Garden said:
“Thank you to the WRCG team for all their hard work, especially Miles and Nick for their design and engineering talents. Also, thanks to everyone in the local community who donated bottles or turned out on chilly Saturday mornings to cut bottles.” 

Steve Newman, General Manager at Veolia Nottinghamshire said:
"This project is a shining example of how innovative thinking and community collaboration can lead to positive change. Veolia is proud to support such community initiatives through our Reduce, Reuse, Recycling Fund as they support our purpose to deliver sustainable environmental and social outcomes for the communities we serve.”

Councillor Neil Clarke MBE, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Nottinghamshire County Council said: 
“I’m delighted to hear that the Reduce, Reuse and Recycling Fund is helping to support brilliant projects like this one at Winthorpe Road Community Garden. It’s great to hear how the community has come together to turn their used plastic bottles into something that will benefit so many people, whilst at the same time reducing the amount of waste being thrown away.”

The Winthorpe Road Community Garden initially started in 2022 with ten raised beds made from materials donated by the local community. The aim was to create a space where people can work in the garden to improve mental and physical well-being. Over time, the garden has expanded to include fruit trees, soft fruit, tomatoes, and cucumbers along the fence, allowing anyone passing by to harvest them. The group has ambitious plans for the future, further enhancing the garden's role as a vital space for the local community, providing fresh produce, socialisation opportunities, and a place to connect with nature.

The Nottinghamshire Reduce, Reuse, Recycling Fund is a community grant designed to support projects that inspire people to think differently about waste and resources. The Fund, now in its 14th year, offers grants of up to £1000 to groups, schools and charities who are committed to helping Nottinghamshire to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Applications for the Reduce, Reuse, Recycling Fund can be made online at or application forms can be requested by emailing [email protected]. The closing date for applications is 28 June 2024. Residents and community groups in Nottinghamshire are encouraged to seize this opportunity to contribute to waste reduction efforts and create a more sustainable future for their local communities.


Winthorpe Road Community Garden Polytunnel