A Little History....
The community garden was once an unloved local fly-tipping and rough-sleeping site behind a row of typical 1930’s terraced houses. Four now disused and derelict tennis courts had been sadly negelected for over 15 years.
Prior to about 1910, the site was located in fields. Just before 1920, either side of the strip of land around the garden was operating as a garden nursery. Somewhere between 1935 and 1940 the surrounding houses were constructed and enclosed the site.
The tennis courts, once developed, were in use for several years managed at that time by the local community. In the mid-nineties the group was hit by several large expenses and the cost of upkeep had proved too much.
In 2011, the residents in the local area were approached by environmental officers of the London Borough of Waltham Forest with an interesting offer. They had identified a potential source of funding that might enable the community to take over this orphan site if they were willing and able to mobilise to do it.
As mentioned earlier, there had been some issues in the area in question that had created some level of disquiet amongst the residents and concern for the authority, so in some ways this opportunity seemed to both parties to be a possible way forward.
After initial discussions between the two groups, it was agreed that the overall aim for the project should be to create a sustainable garden play space for the benefit of the community and for nature and the local ecology.
The principal idea was to reinvent these four disused tennis courts into a community play garden and to make a currently overgrown site into a space usable by and of benefit to the local and wider community. The site was adjacent to a small wooded nature area which was managed by Council. It was felt that creating an accessible community based garden next to it would complement the site as a whole and also create a more positive use.
The emphasis of the management of the site would be based upon community stewardship and so the ongoing maintenance of the garden was to be led and carried out by the local residents and the members of the Friends Group.
The garden was to provide an accessible, interactive space which retained a focus on nature and biodiversity for all sections of the community to enjoy.
...and here we are today....