'Secret' community garden wins top award from The Queen

Martineau Gardens in Birmingham has been recognised for the work done by its army of volunteers many of whom have learning disabilities or come to improve their mental health.

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - the highest award given to voluntary groups in the UK - was given during lockdown, but the team have only just been able to receive it and celebrate their win. 

The volunteers are the lifeblood of Martineau Gardens Credit: ITV Central

Jenni Fryer, CEO of Martineau Gardens said: "I think it's fitting to have received the Queen's Award during the time world leaders are coming together to discuss climate change.

"We work hard to develop environmental practices in our gardens but also through the education that we do.

"I am so proud of the level of compassion and hard work from our volunteers and to be able to go and celebrate as a team and go and accept the award was absolutely amazing."

Some of the Martineau Gardens team with their award Credit: ITV Central
Big smiles as volunteers show off their award Credit: ITV Central

The gardens based on Priory Road in Edgbaston, just a stone's throw from the Cricket Ground, are set back from the road.

Volunteer Annabel Bryant said: "You'd never know we were here."

But those who know about it say it is a magical place.

All two and a half acres of woodland and formal gardens are organic and volunteering here is far more than just a hobby.

Volunteers do green wood work too, which is woodcraft from newly-felled trees.

Volunteer Brian Palmer enjoys getting creative in the woodwork shed Credit: ITV Central

Martineau Gardens celebrates its 25th anniversary next year and preparations for big events to mark the milestone are underway.