Thursday, 16 October 2014

ON OUR DOORSTEP: Vote now – Grow Wild Flagship Site – Cody Wilds

Did you know that one community in England will soon receive £120,000 Grow Wild funding to create an inspiring wild flower haven for everyone to enjoy – and you can help decide who wins? Read on to find out how to vote for your Grow Wild Flagship site, especially important as one of the  nominees is right on our doorstep at Cody Dock...

Grow Wild is a dynamic £10.5m mass participation programme to bring people and communities together to sow, grow and enjoy UK native wild flowers. Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and led by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Grow Wild aims to inspire people to transform unloved urban spaces, gardens, cool containers and windowsills into wildlife-friendly wild flower patches.

The project aims to reach 30 million people and including 4 million young people aged 12 to 25. We are creating four inspirational flagship sites, one each in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and 280 community projectsthat will have a tangible impact on each locality and each individual involved. Thousands of groups and individuals are also encouraged to transform unloved spaces into colourful wild flower havens with Grow Wild seed kits and packs.

In the UK we’re lucky enough to have some amazing wild flowers, but we’re in danger of losing them as their natural habitats disappear. Sadly, we have lost 97% of our wild flower meadows since the 1930s. That means less colour in our lives, less shelter for wildlife and less food for birds, butterflies and bees. But it’s something we can change: so all the more reason to get sowing, growing and enjoying UK native flowers.

The good thing about growing native wild flowers is that they’re fantastic for our native wildlife. Having evolved alongside each other, our wildlife and wild flowers are well-suited. Wild flowers provide food in the form of nectar, pollen, seeds, fruits and foliage. Common knapweed, ox-eye daisy and lady’s bedstraw are all rich sources of nectar for pollinating insects. Wild flowers also provide nesting sites, larval food, forage and shelter.

For more information visit


Voting has now opened to decide which project will become Grow Wild’s England flagship site. The finalists are:

  • City to Sea in Plymouth
  • Cody Wilds in East London
  • Love Square in Sheffield
  • People’s Plant Collection in Bristol
  • Tale of Two Cities in Liverpool and Manchester

Voting is open until midnight on 4 November – read more about each project and cast your vote at


Of course, one site is right on our doorstep so – without bias of course – we urge you to vote for Cody Wilds. Read on to find out more:

Derelict and sealed-off for decades, Cody Dock has been transformed by energised local residents and is about to reopen – and in doing so, will provide a missing link and gateway to the Grow Wild project site. Built in the 1870s, the former Imperial Gas and Chemical Works sits at the heart of the Lower Lea Valley, sandwiched by iconic landmarks including the Royal Docks, Canary Wharf, London’s cable car and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Grow Wild plans
An urban wild flower parkland created by the community for everyone, Cody Wilds will form one part of wider Leaway plans to transform this hidden corner of Newham, East London into a thriving cultural quarter and community space. Its creation will remove the final obstacle to a continuous 26-mile riverside walk from Hertfordshire to the Thames.

The team behind Cody Wilds are passionate about offering East Londoners once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to make a difference to their community, and also about harnessing the collective energy of the thousands of people beyond Newham who stand to be connected when the Leaway opens.

There are also bountiful environmental benefits. This new parkland will provide a vital green corridor, giving wildlife that has been moved on by surrounding development somewhere to re-root - and it will offer the community living in this otherwise urban environment somewhere to positively re-connect with nature.

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