Interestingly, community gardens have been a staple part of communities within the United Kingdom for hundreds of years, serving as an important source of food for those who worked on the plots. During World War Two, many community allotments were set up in the inner cities to provide local people with affordable vegetables.
The interest for community gardening resurfaced during the 1960’s as the people of Britain began once more to move towards a more centralised city living; vacant and unused space were therefore used to grow plants and flowers wherein people could go to relax and enjoy the day.
Although many today may not recognise community gardens, as there is actually no statutory law protecting them, here are five of the most beautiful that you may not be aware of:
Found in the tranquil and learned city of Oxford, the Oxgrow Community Garden has only been in existence since 2011, but having converted the garden from two disused and unloved tennis courts, the land has been turned into a thriving food garden; throwing the purpose of community gardens back to its roots.
Open for everyone, the garden offers a splendid opportunity for everyone in the area to learn how to grow their own food, experiment with climate-friendly growing techniques and simply learn the difference between home grown food and that which can be bought in the shops.
Besides this, the garden leaders are holding twelve different workshops throughout the year including seed saving, crop rotation, composting and wine brewing!
Within the heart of East London, if you were to step within the Brownfield Housing Estate in Poplar, you may just be surprised to find one of the finest Community gardens not only in the capital, but in the United Kingdom.
Established since 2010, two residents of the estate decided that it was time to prune the concrete edges of the estate and convince HARCA into investing within the community by making good a small patch of land right outside of Balfron Tower; a prominent and high raised building.
The community garden provides residents with the perfect opportunity for people to get to know their neighbours and work together in forming a nice place to live for everyone; children of the estate also took part in a ‘tallest sunflower’ competition.
The garden also hosts a Cake Club every now and again for residents!
Situated within the Birmingham City, Martineau Gardens are on a mission to teach and inspire young people and children from all backgrounds about the importance of their natural environment.
A registered charity in its own right, the gardens also hosts a range of educational courses throughout the year including those that are on national curriculum for Primary Schools at key stage 1 & 2.
Not only this but the gardens also offer work experience to young people in secondary school around the Birmingham City area; much of the reason why this very special garden makes it into our list!
King Henry’s Walk Garden
Also one of the newest gardens on our list, the community garden, based in Islington, is run by a small group of volunteers and kind support from Islington Council.
Much like Martineau Gardens, King Henry’s also offers the local community a small selection of education courses about wildlife, gardening and the environment.
Throughout September and October, the garden shall also be host to crafts afternoons, composing workshops and introductions to natural perfumery; exactly the kind of thing that you may want to be doing on a calm September afternoon!