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Regeneration in Belfast

The BUG (Belfast’s Urban Garden) and Grey to Green

  • The BUG (Belfast’s Urban Garden) and Grey to Green

    The BUG (Belfast’s Urban Garden)

    The Conservation Volunteers are using our Grey to Green funding to transform a section of the Belfast Stories site on Royal Avenue and Kent Street into ‘The BUG’ – Belfast’s Urban Garden, incorporating polytunnels, raised planters and vegetable beds. They’re engaging with diverse minority groups, including individuals facing mental health challenges.

    The BUG aims to enhance biodiversity, combat pollution and improve the city centre’s overall appeal and liveability. We also anticipate positive and enduring mental health and wellbeing outcomes for those who participate. The Conservation Volunteers will be scheduling up to four closed gardening groups weekly, either for one-off workshops or for an eight-week programme on a weekly basis throughout the summer to teach people horticulture and conservation skills. 

    Saturday Green Gyms

    Pop into The BUG every Saturday from 10am to 3pm, and join our open volunteering group. Help to tend The BUG garden, learn new skills and meet new friends! Contact Adam Dickson by emailing for more information.

    Tuesdays and Thursdays

    From 12 noon to 1pm  on Tuesdays and Thursdays, The BUG is open to the public. Pop in and join us during your lunch break, enjoy the fresh air, explore the garden, and maybe plant some seeds!

    The BUG hosts closed gardening programmes from 10am to 11.30am and 1.30pm to 3pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so during these times it is not open to the public. To find out more, or if your community group is interested in joining us, contact Sian Doherty by emailing

    The BUG (Belfast Urban Garden) objectives

    The BUG is one of the key actions to come out of the Belfast Healthy Cities ‘Greening the City’ workshop in August 2022 and is part of the ‘Greening the City’ Advisory Group’s ongoing work.

    Making the city centre greener

    A Bolder Vision for Belfast identifies the importance of transforming critical parts of Belfast to create a safer, greener, and more accessible city.

    We invited expressions of interest from businesses and organisations for two greening grants:

    • The Demonstrator Project with up to £50,000 in funding through the Department for Infrastructure Blue Green Infrastructure fund, to deliver a meanwhile, publicly accessible, city centre social farm or garden, on a council owned site for a period of around 18 months; and
    • The City Centre Greening Fund to deliver greening projects within the city centre.
  • Further information

    For more information on our Grey to Green initiative, email

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