Grow SkyWay’s Urban Growing Space and Skills Hub

Project Category: OtherProject Tags: Gardens

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    Grow SkyWay wants to transform a disused pocket of land into an urban food growing site and skills hub which empowers young people within the local area.

    The Grow SkyWay project in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust plans to develop a wildlife friendly food growing site and skills hub on an unused piece of land located within Regents Vocational College. 

    The urban site has been granted to Grow SkyWay for a minimum of three years and within this time we hope to transform the space into an asset that benefits the local community and the New Regents College pupils. 

    The site will have multiple uses and a variety of stakeholders. During the week days the site will function as a space for New Regents College pupils to enjoy and use for work sessions and in the afternoon and weekends the space will the available for the local community. 

    Workshops will be delivered for young people and adults, encouraging more intergenerational interaction on site.

    What we’ll do:

    • Clear the site of rubbish and weeds
    • Build pop-up allotments for planting
    • Plant a range of edible plants
    • Create a compost area
    • Set up a rainwater collection system
    • Establish a native hedge
    • Create a wood pile and a bug hotel

    Why it’s a great idea:

    The project aims is to encourage urban sustainability by transforming unused and unloved spaces into productive sites where edible plants can be grown. It also aims to build community cohesion by encouraging young individuals within the community to become leaders and take responsibility within the project. 

    A community garden creates the setting for greater interaction between young people and other residents as well as increased engagement in community activities of ‘new’ residents to the neighbourhood who have moved in as part of the gentrification process in the area. 

    We hope this interaction will help to reduce the barriers of mistrust and fear which currently exists between groups. 

    A group of particularly dedicated volunteers will be encouraged to attend an extended training programme led by London Wildlife Trust. This training will help to develop skills and confidence that will inspire volunteers to lead further outdoor improvement work in the future.

    How we’ll get it done:

    • Engage local residents to volunteer alongside the young people to prepare the site
    • Create an intergenerational gardening group so the garden and initial relationships will be maintained and can develop
    • Buy reclaimed scaffold board from TRAD Scaffolding Company Ltd to make the pop-up allotments
    • Buy plants, compost and tools to build and plant the pop-up allotments
    • Buy native hedge plants (Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Hazel, Field maple)

    The large food cultivation area will be led by a team of volunteers and will deliver gardening and healthy eating workshops. 

    We plan on selling a proportion of the food grown on the site to local businesses to provide an alternative revenue stream for the project, whilst providing opportunities for young people to engage in the enterprise side of the project, helping them to develop valuable employability skills through work experience placements. 

    Supported by London Wildlife Trust we have incorporated urban wildlife conservation ideas into the site including a native hedge that will include species such as hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), field maple (Acer campestre) hazel (Corylus avellana), etc. Birds and invertebrates will colonise this shrub border enhancing the biodiversity in the garden.

    For more information contact louise@skyway.uk.com

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