Mobile Gardeners

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Mobile Gardeners is a volunteer led community gardening project in Elephant and Castle, London. The present focus is supporting residents of the Hayles Estate caring for Elliott's Row Pocket Park. Mobile Gardeners was founded in 2012.



ORIGINS 

Mobile Gardeners was created in autumn 2011 by Richard Reynolds and Paul McGann to pursue emerging opportunities in Elephant and Castle for creating temporary community gardens and gathering spaces. The two had met during campaigning for a progressive regeneration of the council’s Heygate Estate. Vast areas of the estate’s leafy public land were soon to be boarded up for a decade but the developer was under increasing pressure to make some dormant sites available until they were needed for construction – and identified four for “meanwhile use.” Mobile Gardeners was the only initiative that took up these offers in 2011. Both Paul and Richard pursued the project as volunteers. By 2012 we had access to a bleak location at the end of Wansey Street on the south side of the Heygate Estate. The council and Lend Lease were challenging landlords when negotiating our lease, seemingly fearful of our motives given our campaigning background but we made it by presenting the credibility of our new Community Interest Company, very helpful pro-bono legal advice and eventually some lock cutters to demonstrate our determination. In this way we first gained access to the secure site and eventually signed the paperwork months later! “The Mobile Gardeners Park” at first had no piped water or electricity and almost no open ground with the expanse of crushed rubble, but at least there was plentiful sunshine and lots of space. We opened the gates to visitors on 30 June 2012. From this first base our activities grew across Elephant and Castle in the years ahead, details of which are outlined below.




MOBILE GARDENERS PARK


This website is an archive summary. Please visit the social media pages for more information and topical relevant posts.

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