Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Londoners Create Their Own Urban Allotment!

Regular readers of the London Vegetable Garden will no doubt be familiar with the news item a few weeks ago (click here) that proposed using empty building sites as temporary allotment plots. As encouraging as this news was, these ‘proposed’ council measures rarely come to any real fruition. One of the most effective ways of reclaiming urban gardening space is to do it yourself – and residents of Shoreditch, east London, have done just that.

Residents of an inner-city housing estate have come together and transformed a formerly inaccessible and run-down plot of concrete into a beautiful oasis of green. Seventy half-tonne bags of soil have been arranged to form an urban allotment space and local residents are now growing a spectacular array of vegetables, flowers, fruit and salads in this makeshift city garden.

There’s no doubt that this innovative initiative needs to be applauded; London is full of disused space that could be put to such better use. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats that govern our local councils seem to find this issue of relatively low importance, choosing instead to focus on bendy buses and the Olympics. In spite of this however, constituents are speaking with their actions – this fantastic scheme just goes to show how important gardening is to many urban city dwellers.

In addition to the wonderful range of vegetables and fruit that are appearing in this unique London allotment plot, something else has grown amongst residents over the last few weeks – a real sense of community. Hopefully this brilliant story will continue to highlight issues surrounding urban gardening and gardening in London – the scheme has already become a model for further community allotment schemes. Gardeners amongst the concrete-dwelling majority should take fresh heart from this story – and use it to springboard action in their own community. Well done Shoreditch; London gardeners salute you!

(To read more about this scheme and for further photographs, please visit: http://www.what-if.info/VACANT_LOT.html Picture courtesy from this site.)


  1. If I did that here (Regent's Park Estate) I think it would just get trampled by the local "youf". They've already snapped most of the young trees around here.

  2. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  3. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment - this blog is a labour of love, so it's always nice to hear such pleasant comments. Many thanks - I hope you continue to enjoy the blog!



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