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Continuing Earthworks at our brand new Martlets allotment

Katie Dennis, Counsellor and Martlets Earthworks Coordinator, talks about the experience of getting our very own Martlets allotment.

Getting an allotment has been Martlets’ goal. Seeing the delight it will bring is very rewarding. The new Martlets allotment is at the Weald Allotments site in Hove. We got the allotment following a successful pilot project at a community allotment. Earthworks, our open access men’s bereavement group, will be the initial users of Martlets allotment.

Earthworks is free for any man who has lost a loved one in Brighton and Hove and the surrounding areas. Our first group is in full swing. They have been getting fully involved with clearing and planting. Our newly installed wood burner has been a great place to gather around for cups of tea.

Taking over Martlets allotment

When we took over our new Plot 98 it was completely overgrown.  Our first jobs were to get it ready for the first Earthworks group to start. We cleared the old dilapidated structures from the site, removed rubbish and discarded clutter.  Then it was on to cutting back an overwhelming ivy that had taken over the back of the allotment, strimming the cooch grass and covering the ground to supress weeds until we can start to build raised beds and plant seeds.

We now have a newly built cabin, tool shed and outdoor seating area providing a place to sit and chat.  The plot has transformed already and it has been amazing to see. Bulbs have been planted and we’re looking forward to a good display in Spring where we’re expecting tulips and daffodils that we are planning to bring into the hospice to brighten up the rooms.

What happens at Earthworks

Our Earthworks sessions are relaxed. We don’t require any previous gardening experience. Men taking part take on jobs that interest them. They can do anything from lighter work or maybe get involved in digging and clearing.  Simply getting closer to nature can be therapeutic, regardless of the British weather!

Less than a quarter of those using Martlets hospice bereavement services are men and there are limited opportunities for bereaved men to get together in Brighton & Hove.  We developed Earthworks as an alternative way to provide support. Above all, we would urge people to get in touch if they think this could help them.


To find out more about Earthworks, or to sign-up please contact the Martlets’ Patient and Family Support Administrator on 01273 273400, or email