SUSAN OLIVER catches up with developments at Croydon Transition Town after an active 2014
Croydon Transition Town celebrated its second birthday in November, after its members helped to create community gardens in Wandle Park, Park Hill Park and at Ramsey Court in 2014, while continuing to work on one of their earliest projects, the Thornton Heath Rec Garden. We hosted two Give and Take Days (first created by Veolia, the council’s waste contractors) and helped Once Upon a Time Nursery in Thornton Heath to start their own fruit and veg garden.
Andrew Kennedy created a website for the group, and has started to post our minutes online.
Most recently, we visited Growing Communities, a veg-box scheme in Hackney.
The community gardens in Croydon help to revitalise an area with a spirit that money can’t buy, allowing people to make connections within a neighbourhood. Here’s a little more detail:
- Wandle Park – Led by Tom Smith, the park’s volunteer and learning officer, this garden has quickly become an integral part of the park and contributed to the July summer festival. Volunteers have been able to access food growing courses and mentoring sessions via EcoLocal, a Sutton-based charity.
- Park Hill Park – Under the enthusiastic leadership of Friends of Park Hill Park, this is inside a walled garden and is going great guns. One part is dedicated to a kitchen garden and the other part is a memorial for Cicely Mary Barker, the artist who lived nearby and became world-famous for her Flower Fairy books. The memorial garden will be part of the Croydon Heritage Festival in June.
- Ramsey Court – This is a small patch located right next to the Croydon Food Bank. It got off to a late start but we hope to do even more this year with an aim to provide produce to the Food Bank.
- Thornton Heath Rec – Created with the Friends of Thornton Heath Rec, this initiative has grown in enthusiasm and scope. Apple trees planted in 2013 have been carefully tended over the year and are growing well. There are plans to install raised beds and host a spring tea.
To participate in any of these gardens, please see our website, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We want to thank out-going chairman Helen Buckland and secretary John Clingan for their work over the year. Our new chairman is Andrew Dickinson and our new secretary is Catherine Graham.
We are always looking for new members and ideas.
We are also always grateful for donations of plants, particularly rhubarb crowns, fruit canes and seedlings in the spring.
- Inside Croydon Events: for dates and links to what’s happening in and around Croydon, updated daily, click here
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