Our vision for this project has always been to create a magical forest garden built on permaculture principles that's accessible to all. Work on the garden began during the pandemic as a way to encourage people to visit green spaces after lockdown, where they could engage with nature and reap the physical and mental health benefits.
With our first fundraiser, we raised enough money, as well as received some amazing donations of seeds, plants, tools and valuable time, to transform a once bramble-filled space into an accessible garden for visitors to enjoy, with terraced beds, footpaths, trees, herbs, flowers and vegetables. It meant we could, and still do, provide organic zero-miles food for our on-site vegan cafe as well.
The space also provides an educational resource for our School of Curiosity, as well as other groups, and it's becoming a vital source of biodiversity that will ultimately benefit the community and environment as a whole.
We now have plans to develop the garden for Stage 2 of the project with the following:
Create additional terraced beds to encourage a wider range of pollinators.
Create 2 ponds for spawning toads to help the local population thrive.
Extend the water irrigation system to the lower part of the garden, using rainwater collected from the Rockaway yard.
Create more wheelchair-accessible pathways.
Create and surface a level entrance and parking area for visitors with mobility issues to increase accessibility.
Create community compost bins and a community plant/seed exchange.
Create an art trail for visitors and school/community groups consisting of sculptures, soundscapes, living works and interactive areas, like chamomile seating in a new herb garden.
With this second stage, we hope to engage with more people beyond our local community. We want to entice lots more visitors into the garden with increased accessibility, an increase in biodiversity, and an expansion of activities and sights that highlights the symbiosis between art and nature.
As we make good use of any donations, video updates will appear on the Community Forest Garden page HERE, as well as on our new GoFundMe page.
So, if you'd like to donate anything we could use in the garden, like seeds, plants, trees, tools or materials, please contact us HERE. If you'd like to donate a few quid, as well as check out the new GoFundMe page with the full story, plus our rewards scheme, click the button below. And thanks so much for helping us grow, we really appreciate it!