History of Ridgeline

Ridgeline Trust was set up in 2003 by local residents in a disused paddock made available by Reading Borough Council. The land was transformed into the beautiful garden we have today through the hard work of volunteers who cleared and landscaped the site. Volunteers and donations came from church and youth groups, the probation service, local businesses, university students, the Berkshire Trust for Conservation Volunteers and our neighbours, B & M Lakeside care home.

In its early years, the charity was funded mainly by grants and donations, but has gradually transitioned to be more sustainable through charges for services provided to clients. Reading Borough Council has also continued to support us through encouragement from local councillors, as well as by awarding us a 25 year lease on the land, allowing us to invest in an all-weather pavilion opened by the Mayor of Reading in 2013. This pavilion was funded by money raised from grant-giving bodies and local businesses, and allows the Trust to provide therapy all year round.

Ridgeline has worked with a variety of local organisations and groups over the years.

We ran the Multicultural Gardening Club between 2014 and 2018 to encourage integration and understanding between communities. The aims were to teach participants new to the country how to garden in our climate, to grow food together and learn more about a heathly lifestyle, and to give participants an opportunity to develop their English language skills.

Ridgeline Trust is a founder member of the Reading Green Wellbeing Network, a partnership of organisations in the Reading area that use gardening and connecting with nature to improve health and wellbeing.  For more information about the network, click here to visit their website.

Since 2019 we’ve been working with two local special schools, Addington and the Avenue, providing horticultural therapy sessions for their students.

A highlight in the calendar for our supporters and local residents are our plant sale each Spring and harvest fete each Autumn, which we have run for many years.  As well as raising valuable funds, it provides our client gardeners a wonderful opportunity to show off our beautiful garden.  And whilst Covid curtailed a lot of what we could do for several months, we still managed a virtual harvest fete in 2020, thanks to local musician Marc Bartsch.

We are extremely grateful for all the help we have received from organisations, individuals and the local community.   We continue to rely on volunteers to run the charity and support our client gardeners, and on individuals, businesses and grant-making trusts for financial support.