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The Derrington W.I. Herb Garden is a fabulous practical example of creativity, team work, care for the environment and growing food locally!  This is its story as told by W.I. President, Mrs Margaret Merrick.

The Creation of the Herb Garden

‘In 1999, Derrington Women’s Institute was invited to join in with the Derrington Millennium Green project, to celebrate the year 2000.  We agreed to create a Herb Garden and were allocated a plot of ground in the far corner of the Green, which at that time was very overgrown!

It was a daunting task … but after much hard work, the site was cleared and levelled, and in November 1999 the Copper Beech border hedge was planted.  In March 2000 the Herb Garden pathways were installed, followed by the laying of slabs to divide the garden into segments.

Herbs were then planted in the newly dug borders, some grown from cuttings and some donated from gardens.

A wrought iron seat was installed, kindly donated by Derrington History Project Committee.  A Mill Stone with brass plaque, together with a sundial, were purchased – just in time for the official visit to the Millennium Green, by Princess Anne, on 15 December 2000!’

The Women’s Institute

The National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI), formed in 1915, is the largest voluntary organisation for women in the UK.  It encourages women to participate in a wide variety of activities, provides educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, and campaigns on issues that matter to them and their

The W.I. and the Environment

The W.I. has always cared about the environment and sustainability.  The first resolution on environmental issues
was passed in 1927, calling for action to prevent pollution of our seas.  Since then, sustainability issues such as climate change have been an important part of W.I. campaigning.

Women have a unique opportunity to make a difference to the environment, within their families, communities and society as a whole.They can make ‘greener’ choices – in what they buy, how they travel, the energy supplier they select, or the food choices they make.

Women are also key educators, able to help children to understand and celebrate our beautiful planet, and to think about how we can all enjoy, protect and care for the world around us.

A little extra information

Derrington Women’s Institute was started before the Second World War, but forced to close due to war restrictions.  It re-opened in 1951 and still continues to flourish.

Planting a Red Oak in 2002


Last tidy up of winter 2003

The herb garden with young beech hedge


A sunny summer’s day 2004