Camphill MK was delighted to welcome Gardeners’ Question Time (GQT) to our Chrysalis Theatre this month. The benefits of gardening and the importance of environmental consciousness have always had a positive impact on the people we support and, as we embark on a five-year capital expansion, this remains embedded in our culture, with green roofs and sustainably sourced materials instrumental to our building process.
Three of the UK’s most celebrated gardening experts took to the stage at The Chrysalis Theatre for the recording of two episodes of the popular Radio 4 show.
The event was facilitated by The Parks Trust, which expertly cares for over 6,000 acres of green space in Milton Keynes including river valleys, ancient woodlands, lakes, parks and landscaped areas along the city’s grid roads. In addition to managing and developing local landscapes, staff and volunteers work hard to support local wildlife and biodiversity, providing valuable facilities for park users, delivering extensive education programmes and connecting communities with events and activities.
Opening the GQT event, Kathy Clugston praised Milton Keynes’ vast collection of over 22 million trees before revealing she’d chosen to walk from the train station to the Chrysalis Theatre so that she could enjoy some local landscapes before the recording. The expert panel of Matthew Wilson, Dr Chris Thorogood and Juliet Sargeant answered some very challenging questions from the audience of over 200 local gardeners who’d secured a ticket for the sought-after event.
Twenty people were chosen to come forward with their questions which were not revealed to the panel in advance, leaving the experts to rely entirely on their own knowledge to find answers on the spot. Audiences can hear the entertaining discussions that took place when the shows are broadcast on Radio Four on Friday 26th August and Friday 2nd September.
The founders of Milton Keynes invited the international Camphill movement to create homes in the city in 1980. Our community was built in Willen Park and Pennyland for adults with learning disabilities and autism in a space that embraced the outdoors and creativity, whilst offering meaningful opportunities to all residents. 40 years on and we are now home to 65 residents with a purpose-built theatre, a ceramics studio, weavery, bakery, allotments and a public-facing café.