Ayr @ Auchincruive

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Looking down the garden at 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 for vegetables, herbs and fruit, greenhouses and a quiet seating area. 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
  • 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

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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      Volunteering: Fairy godparents of the world unite – you have nothing to lose but boredom


    We're very proud of our new homemade compost bins at our Ayr horticultural therapy garden pic.twitter.com/bpSUQ1ktZb

    About 6 days ago

    RT @ISSLandscaping Please support @gardening_leave helping our country's veterans on their journey back to good mental health twitter.com/philjonesISS/s…

    About 6 days ago

    Looking forward to seeing veterans from our @RHChelsea #gardening therapy project on @ITV #Pogdogs with @BDCH tonight at 8.30pm. Tune in!

    About 6 days ago

    RT @philjonesISS If you support our armed forces veterans then please support @gardening_leave horticultural therapy in walled gardens #givesomethingback

    Last week

    RT @starwards Last year's Guardian and Observer charity appeal: mental health with @gardening_leave & @MindCharity gu.com/p/4eeyk/stw

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    Registered Company number: 06091057
    Charity registered number: 1119786
    Charity registered in Scotland: SC038563
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