A visit to Lewes FC Community Kitchen Garden ‘Brad’s Pit’

On a frosty morning in December I ventured out to investigate what I’d been hearing people refer to as ‘Brad’s Pit’. I was keen to find out why a community gardening project on the land of the Lewes Football Club was named after a Hollywood A-lister. Upon arrival I could see the garden spread across the space above the stands, a flat parcel of land atop of the slope leading down to the pitch. It seemed like such a perfect fit to use this space for a community growing project but it needs innovative and community-minded people to put those ideas in to motion in the first place and to set the example that we need to be utilising and sharing growing spaces wherever they are.

The origin of the nickname ‘Brad’s Pit’ was revealed to be of revered Lewes FC player ‘Bradley Pitchard’ (and not Brad Pitt of Fight Club fame) who set up the Community Garden in early 2021. Lewes FC, a community-owned and not-for-profit football club, and Bradley Pritchard were the instruments of change, catalysts for showing that community gardening and growing doesn’t need to fit in to neat little boxes in allotments but can be part of any project, space or group that’s given the opportunity.


I was welcomed by Tony Kalume, another member of the community who is driving change by encouraging people to make better connections with each other and with nature, who showed me around the modest yet mighty garden. The raised beds were almost ready to be put to bed for the winter, but not before Tony picked one last harvest of chard which he explained he would take to the Community Fridge to be shared with locals. 


Standing in the middle of the garden you can look down to the football pitch on one side and out towards the rolling Sussex countryside on the other. The juxtaposition of the garden against the football pitch was brilliant, the bright green of the lettuces blending in with the green of the pitch. It is true fringe farming, and proves that we can find spaces to grow food for our community in almost any place if we have the support of those lucky enough to be guardians of the land.



There are exciting plans in the pipeline including creating an area to encourage wild flowers and pollinators and an area to sit down together to reflect and learn from each other. The plan for the space is that it will be inclusive and accessible (next steps are to make it wheelchair accessible), a safe space for people to learn and share some skills but also just to be in nature. Tony works with a number of different groups around Lewes and he spoke passionately about adult social care and the need for inclusion and accessibility. He works with groups of students with special needs, with victims of domestic abuse and hate crimes and other vulnerable members of the community and hopes to build confidence and empower people through using the Community Kitchen Garden as a therapeutic exercise. We shared our views on how we feel community gardens fight isolation and empower people to look after themselves, each other and their environment.

Tony also leads a project called Diversity Lewes which is a community organisation with a mission to celebrate diversity. If you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer or visiting the garden get in contact with Tony at info@diversitylewes.org.uk

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