Bolton Diggers

Please see also the Events page for further GOG & DIGGERS details

Next Bolton GOG/Diggers meeting – 6.30 pm Monday August 10th 2015 – at the Kitchen Café, Great Moor Street, Bolton - All growers and like-minded groups welcome, including those who may be looking to set up a new project in their neighbourhood – to catch up on all the growing projects and to share experience, advice, latest events and common interests or interest in the Commons!

Bolton Diggers Festival – Saturday August 22nd 2015 at Wood Street Socialist Club

5th Wigan Diggers Festival Saturday September 12th 2015  – details at

Wigan Diggers Festival on September 13th 2014 pics below – here’s to 2015!

Contact for further information


Pictures taken at the 4th Wigan Diggers Festival on September 13th 2014

Previous Diggers activities and background to the Bolton Diggers:


After the Diggers meeting at The Kitchen, with Elisabeth Mpofu, Speaker 3rd from right

  • BOLTON DIGGERS meeting and SpeakerFriday January 17th 2014, 6pm at The Kitchen on  Great Moor Street.  Contributions of ideas and help to establish the aims and objectives of the ‘Bolton Diggers’ association. Speakers so far have included representatives of the Barton Moss Greater Manchester Against-Fracking Group in December, and for January 17th at 7pm the speaker was Elisabeth Mpofu, the new general coordinator of Via Campesina international peasants movement supporting sustainable food growing.
  • Elisabeth talked about the work of her organisation Via Campesina (the Peasants’ Way) is an international movement which coordinates peasant organizations of small and middle-scale producers, agricultural workers, rural women, and indigenous communities. It is a coalition of over 148 organizations, advocating family-farm-based sustainable agriculture and was the group that first coined the term ‘food sovereignty’. Food sovereignty refers to the right to produce food on one’s own territory. Via Campesina has carried out several campaigns including a campaign to defend farmer’s seeds, a campaign to stop violence against women, a campaign for the recognition of the rights of peasants, a Global Campaign for agrarian reform and others.Organized worldwide into nine regions, the group has members throughout the world (in 70 countries). It receives support from various charities, foundations and public institutions around the world. Via Campesina represents an estimated 200 million peasant families globally.As such, it is widely considered to be the world’s most important and perhaps largest trans-national social movement.


Supporting the Barton Moss Greater Manchester Against Fracking Campaign


  • The Diggers Kitchen

The Bolton Diggers are also establishing a “Diggers Kitchen”, making  free hot soup from vegetables that would otherwise be thrown away (Friday mornings throughout December to start with on Bradshawgate and from January 2014 at premises on Churchgate).  Volunteers welcome!  Until full kitchen facilities are sorted, preparation of the soup at the moment takes place at the Greenhouse at Quebec Place from around 8.30 am – again, all volunteer help is welcome, either at the Greenhouse or at the Churchgate premises (a former clothing shop shared with Bolton Street Angels, opposite The Man & Scythe pub.)


Getting the Diggers Kitchen up and running on Churchgate, Fridays

Background to the Bolton Diggers

  • The original Diggers were  set up at the end of the English Civil War by Wigan-born Gerrard Winstanley.  They set up rural communes based on working together on the land and sharing the  produce but were soon suppressed by Oliver Cromwell.Many modern  socialists, communists, environmentalists and anarchists have seen Winstanley and the Digger groups as their forebears.In recent years, an annual Wigan Diggers festival (links below) has been held in Wigan Town Centre to celebrate Gerrard Winstanley’s life and ideas.The idea of the commons has been developed not just to mean  shared land but also software, services, health, education, leisure  facilities, cultural assets and the air we breathe.  Now more than ever, commonly-held assets and services are being threatened and withdrawn -  health, care, benefits, libraries, community facilities – the basic safety net of working-class people.  Now more than ever, in the spirit of the old Diggers, people need to come together and put The Commons back at the centre of  our concerns.
    • For further information on the Bolton Diggers, contact Alan on 07986255782 or you can leave a response on this website.
    • (notice also posted on The Growing Republic links page)
    • Wigan Diggers 2013 – For pics and info on the third Wigan Diggers Festival held at The Wiend in Wigan on the 7th September, and up to date details about future events, you can catch up on their facebook page linked at


     Wigan Diggers Festival & National Protest March Manchester September 2013


  • Apple Day 2013 – Ainsdale Road Community Allotments, Great Lever Sunday 20th October 2013 – Thanks to all attending sunny Apple Day 2013 and to all who had a hand in organising the event, putting on the activities and providing the fantastic food again!  Here’s a few pics of the day:




2 Responses to Bolton Diggers

  1. Natalie Morris says:

    To Whom it may concern

    I was wondering if somebody could please supply me with a contact number for somebody who runs Bolton Diggers? Me and my mum are both very interested in doing some voluntary work over the Christmas period and would like some more information on how we go about doing this?

    Thank you

    Natalie Morris

    • Ray W says:

      Hi Natalie,

      Many thanks for your request about voluntary work. Apart from the seasonal growing work at various community allotments across Bolton, the Diggers help with volunteering at the Caring Kitchen at Bolton YMCA, currently every Tuesday evening from 7-9pm, where I’m sure your offer would be welcome.

      I’m currently dealing with family illnesses down south and unfortunately not around to work there presently but the main contact for the Bolton Diggers is Alan Brown at the following email address: or mobile phone number: 07986255782 – I’m sure Alan would be pleased to hear from you.

      Many thanks, best wishes, Ray
      Ray Willshire, Westhoughton Food Co-op email:

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