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Vacant Lot

In 2009 Groundwork London teamed up with What if: projects to create 20 new community allotments on housing estates in Hackney, Camden and Islington over the course of three years.

The Vacant Lot project provided a creative solution to growing fresh food in urban social housing settings where space is limited. In consultation with the residents living on each of the Vacant Lot estates bespoke designs were created for each of the 20 sites. The spaces were designed to be semi-permanent, easily constructed and cost effective to both install and maintain. A total of 7145m2 of land transformed and 879 plots were created using raised beds and half-tonne soil bags. Many residents also undertook ‘working on allotments’ AQA accredited training and supported to establish residents gardening groups to manage the running of the allotments themselves. The project was a resounding success, 85% of residents on the Vacant Lot estates thought that the project had helped bring the community together.

The three year project was funded by the Big Lottery "Local Food" programme and the partnering social housing providers; Family Mosaic, Southern Housing Group, Circle 33 Housing Trust, Newlon Housing Trust and Homes for Islington.

Download your practical guides to setting up your own Vacant Lot style project.
This starter pack is a collection of tried and tested resources that were used throughout the Vacant Lot programme, creating food growing gardens throughout London, supporting communities to work together to develop sustainable and positive change in their neigbourhoods. This purpose of this pack is to give you the information, practical tools and inspiration you need to set up your own Vacant Lot style community garden.

A successful gardening club will require some basic management tools to ensure a safe and well organised growing space. Our Garden Management Pack will equip you with all the tools you'll need to run your own safe and successful gardening club.

Visit the Vacant Lot website  for more information.

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