Wednesday, 1 October 2014

INSIGHT // OTHER COMMUNITY GARDENS: Visit to Dorset Road Community Garden, E7

Visiting other community gardens can be really helpful in the process of creating your own. Myanah Saunders, a central figure for the Forest Gate Community Garden's Steering Group, reports back from a recent visit to the Dorset Road Community Garden in south Forest Gate 

On 26 September 2014, I visited the Dorset Road Community Garden, one of several community gardens in London. This garden is one of our immediate neighbours, situated just off Katherine Road, also in Forest Gate, E7.

The garden was holding an event to raise funds for Macmillan and it was great to go and support such a worthy cause. They are having their final Open Day of the year on Sunday 26 October and I think we should arrange a group visit – we can learn a lot from them, although they are individual vegetable growers, not wildlife. They were extremely helpful and rightly proud of what they have achieved in two years.

The visit also highlighted some items that could be really helpful in the process of setting our garden up. These include:

• Two very active (retired) members have done amazing construction work (planters, compost bins, adapting a bought shed, building a greenhouse on the side of the container etc) almost entirely from reclaimed/recycled materials

• The garden was given a container, which now has a green roof and a solar panel which provides lighting inside the container

• They make refreshments in the container using a double burner camping stove running on butane.

• They have had virtually no vandalism – their steel fence was already in place and they have raised it with mesh panels, so also no fly-tipping

• They got a grant of £10,000 from Groundforce to spend as they wished (they have a 10 year lease)

• Newham Council has been extremely generous, helping them with bids, a container and installing a water system

• They have spare logs which they are willing to give us as seats

• They have got funding or volunteer help from an amazing range of sources

• They are very willing to share what they have learned with us

For more information on the Dorset Road Community Garden visit

We'll be in touch regarding a group visit to the garden, so look out for a Member email  soon

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