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Lottery cash to help 'create a food-growing movement in Bankside'

Five new gardens, 24 raised beds and 800 window boxes for food-growing will will be created on housing estates in SE1 over the next four years thanks to a a £233,155 grant from Local Food.

Brookwood Triangle
Wheat growing at the Brookwood Triangle in Webber Street

Bankside Open Spaces Trust is giving residents of social housing estates who do not have access to private gardens the opportunity to create new community spaces and shared food gardens.

BOST was amongst the successful applicants for funding from the Local Food Programme, a 50 million fund supported by the Big Lottery Fund for food-related community projects across the country.

"Receiving the Local Food funding was fabulous news, and means we will now be able to bring food growing to flat-dwellers from Waterloo to London Bridge," says Helen Firminger, director of Bankside Open Spaces Trust.

"Over the next four years we will work hard to bring five new gardens, 24 raised beds and 800 window boxes to the area.

"We can't do this alone and will rely on resident volunteers to help with door-knocking, gardening clubs, talking to each other and helping to create a food growing movement in Bankside."

During the winter months BOST and local residents will be busy building the infrastructure for the community gardens, planting fruit trees and constructing raised beds.

By spring residents will be ready to plant vegetables for the 2011 growing year and look forward to a burgeoning harvest.

Benefiting over 1,400 people, the 'Great Big Food Growing Project' will provide bespoke solutions to the food growing challenges that occur within urban areas, whilst also looking to build community cohesion across northern Southwark and Lambeth.

BOST will develop a number of new community food growing spaces and gardening clubs that will encourage a diverse range of people to learn more about the importance of local food and healthy eating.

Local Food has been developed by a consortium of 15 national environmental organisations and is managed on their behalf by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts.

Supported by the Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces programme, Local Food will distribute grants to a variety of food related projects to make locally grown food more accessible.

SE1 already has several examples of food-growing projects on housing estates such as the Tabard Gardens Community Allotment and a similar scheme on the Rockingham Estate.

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