We transform previously unused sites in urban areas into gardens for use by local residents. Depending on the space, we can develop or tailor what we offer to residents. This can include:
How We Do It
By using a system of raised vegetable beds that are transportable we are able to identify spaces in local areas that are unused or awaiting development and with the correct permission install a garden practically overnight. The idea is to move with the changing face of the city and create gardens in spaces in the 'meantime' before something happens to them, most usually development. We want to utilise space as it is becoming more and more restricted in the city, and offer these spaces for use by the local community to grow food, share knowledge and skills, build relations and care for their environment. We have seen how people are atomised, interacting more with their t.v's than they do their neighbours and this leads to feelings of fear and anxiety. Community gardens are inclusive, open to all with no limit on age, gender or ethnicity and the only truly 'multi-cultural' places we have. We want to increase not only the biological diversity of an area but its social diversity too.
Achievements at Fleet Street Hill
- Between the start of the project in May and the end of June we managed to build just over 100 community allotment beds for local residents. We provided all the soil, building materials and fixings for free and have since recouped the expense from events held on site.
- Later in the summer with the help of APE (Adventure Playground Engineers) we rescued an old 7m fishing boat from a boatyard where it was to be burnt and have turned it into a children’s play area.
- Also in the summer we received two hives of bees from a lady in North London who could no longer take care of them and we have been looking after them ever since in our purpose built bee-enclosure!
- We have successfully hosted four groups of corporate volunteers who greatly enjoyed their time building beds, painting, fixing the boat up and designing and constructing pallet furniture.
- Every Sunday we host a fireside jam called Campfire Club where we have a regular rota of musicians down to play live music and where we raise funds to keep the garden going during the week.
- We have been cultivating wild flower beds and spreading endemic British wild flowers, increasing the biodiversity of the garden and ensuring the legacy of native species in the area.
- Since opening, our presence has created interest from other community groups. We have been able to use the resources and skills from the garden to assist these other projects such as hosting workshops for W.E.N (Women’s Environmental Network), building frames for the allotments at Gascoigne Place and helping to build a polytunnel for Mulberry Girls School on Commercial Road.