Ayr @ Auchincruive

Based in the historical grounds of the former Scottish Agricultural College in Auchincruive, this is where Gardening Leave started in April 2007. Originally created as a pilot project, Gardening Leave Auchincruive is now our flagship site and houses our ‘Head Shed’ (Head Office).

The veterans who attend come from Combat Stress’ treatment centre, Hollybush House, which is only 8 miles away. A large number of veterans also attend from across the Ayrshire area and beyond. Since 2007, over 300 veterans have attended.

The site itself features the main terrace (shown above) with raised beds, greenhouses, growing space for fruit and vegetables and our poppy collection. Another feature is the Stovehouse, an 84-metre long Victorian greenhouse which is currently being restored. We’ve completed two thirds of the work and need to raise a further £100,000 to finish. Veterans use this indoor space to take part in activities such as woodwork and winter vegetable growing. There is also an opportunity for veterans at Auchincruive to fish on the River Ayr, thanks to the close proximity of the river and Annbank Fishery kindly donating 3 permits.

Our plans for this year include:

  • Complete the Stovehouse
  • Introduce more raised beds to the current poppy area
  • Move Poppy Collection to RHC garden in London
  • Develop wildlife area in a new space that has been given to Gardening Leave
  • Develop supplies of produce to sell and pass on to local organisations
  • Develop relationships with the Provost’s eight chosen charities
  • Plant up the border in front of the completed Stovehouse.


Contact details

Telephone: 01292 521 444

Email: admin@gardeningleave.org or Contact Us.

Gardening Leave, The Gardens Unit, SAC Auchincruive, Ayr, KA6 5HW


Monday–Thursday: 09:30–12:00, 13:00–15:30

Friday: (no sessions)

If you would like to attend this project or volunteer, please contact the Garden Staff:

  • Pamela Smith, Horticultural Therapist
  • Victoria Brown, Assistant Horticultural Therapist & Stovehouse Coordinator
  • Latest News

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    Great piece on @Forces_TV by @aligibson on VC hero @johnsonbeharry opening our revamped Ayr hort.therapy garden ow.ly/OZjTw

    About 10 minutes ago

    RT @ISSLandscaping Very proud to be associated with @gardening_leave Ayr horticultural garden officially opened by @johnsonbeharry pic.twitter.com/dmdZIHSXSO

    About 12 minutes ago

    More pics from opening of our refurbished Ayr veterans garden with @johnsonbeharry pic.twitter.com/1p3yqPhUqn

    About 3 hours ago

    Our revamped Ayr horticultural therapy garden was today opened by Victoria Cross Hero @johnsonbeharry ow.ly/OU09Y A proud moment

    About 2 days ago

    RT @philjonesISS Well done @gardening_leave for a great opening of Auchincruive garden today thanks for tea and scones! #greatcause

    About 2 days ago

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    Registered in England: 26 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4AG
    Registered Company number: 06091057
    Charity registered number: 1119786
    Charity registered in Scotland: SC038563
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