Leyton Boundary Community Garden, London, received a grant from the Our Space Award programme to remove the concrete path and transformed the space into a new bed building project and a polytunnel.

Key achievements:

  • Total area of land improved: 1200sqm
  • Area of land depaved: 60sqm
  • Area turned ‘Green to Grey’: 75sqm
  • Number of volunteers: 145 (105 adults, 40 under 18s)

The Our Space Award project, run by Leyton Boundary Community Garden, has successfully managed to de-pave the concrete next to their garden, making way for a polytunnel and their new bed-building project. The patch of concrete waste ground had previously obscured the space from public view and limited the growing potential as well as accessibility. Despite these challenges, volunteers were determined to develop their community garden into a thriving green space for everyone to enjoy.

The project consisted of clearing large amounts of tarmac and concrete, as well as building new raised beds utilising a polytunnel, improve soil conditions, and installing planters to provide a greener environment. The existing tarmac and concrete were significantly thicker than anticipated, so a large road digger was brought in to remove large amounts of rubble, concrete, pebbles and scree.

The project was also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the first national lockdown. However, volunteers and those involved were not discouraged. Keeping the gates open, Jon Day (project lead) says that the project attracted new people and gave participants a focus during these months.

“During the first lockdown, people were walking around a lot more, and as we are located next to the park, we had a lot of new people coming in to see what we were up to.”

“Those who got involved said that it benefited their physical and mental wellbeing to be doing something that wasn’t work.”

Once restrictions eased in the summer, a weekly gardening club was initiated. Jon says that a particularly rewarding moment of the project was, “seeing everyone come back together after the first lockdown, when they’d all been working on it bit by bit at different times. It was a really memorable and magical moment.” Jon predicts 30 to 40 people got involved on a weekly basis and that at least 50 people had been involved in the project overall.

“Seeing everyone come back together after the first lockdown … was a really memorable and magical moment.”

The new gardening beds has provided the space with greater visibility as well as having increased the accessibility of the space allowing for wheelchair access. The project has provided Leyton Boundary Community Garden with more green space, increased community engagement and improved overall conditions.

With this exciting growth, Jon envisions more activities will take place, bringing more diversity to the site, and strengthen the collaboration with local community centres and groups.

Find out more about the Our Space Award here.