Southeastern give go-ahead for Crofton Park station garden

Lewisham Council officer Sarah Eaglestone writes:

I can report that Southeastern have confirmed they have no objections to our proposals for the use of the Marnock Road / Crofton Park station community garden site (a stretch of wasteland next to Marnock Road and station). They have said it would be fine for us to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs as long as they are in planters to ensure the land is not contaminated. But other flowers and plants can be planted directly into the ground and we can landscape as we see fit and even use the land for community get-together.

There is an accessible water supply and Southeastern will be looking into upgrading the fence along Marnock Road and we will have our own private gate and they will provide a number of keys for designated key holders (the site will only be open on designated days of the week for security agreed by the community gardeners).  The only thing Southeastern wasn't happy about was the garden having a tool shed on site due to fears of a fire or vandalism, but we have already discussed ways around this.

Southeastern have advised that everyone who wants to be a community gardener should sign up together as a group to adopt the station land and we will be running through in detail what a community adopting station land entails at our next community garden meeting. Apparently not many communities in London have done this, but many communities elsewhere in the UK adopt station land,  a primary school has  adopted station land somewhere in the South.

Once we have got the main large square patch of land  by the station transformed into a sizable community garden, Southeastern are very happy for us to work our way down the thin stretch of land adjacent to the platform to transform the whole site.

The next step now is to arrange for Community Payback to do the initial clear up of the site (currently over grown and a victim of fly-tipping), which Sergeant Hawtin is kindly arranging for us. I will arrange with the relevant LBL officer for Glendales to prepare the land for use,  once that is all done,  it's down to local residents  to get gardening!

We have £3,000 of Local Assemblies funding  already approved and allocated to this project for site preparation,  planters, plants, etc. The Community Library has kindly offered to initially be the umbrella organisation to support the community gardeners.

We have our next community garden meeting scheduled for Saturday 27 October 2pm - 3pm, at the Crofton Park Community library.

This is an open meeting for anyone interested in getting involved in the garden. People coming along to the meeting may wish  to take a look  at the site and start to think how they would like the site to look like and what you would like to plant there. So please bring your ideas or even drawings to the meeting so we can start to form a plan for the garden, which should be finally blooming in 2013!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, can't wait to see the results. Well done Southeastern.

Hope this will deter the flytippers for a bit.

Maybe the council will look at the general streetscape in Marnock Rd, a candidate for one of the scruffiest roads in London.

The Thinker said...

Is this the big society in action?

Good luck to them, I think it's great, would be nice to have a patch near the station with one of those container lock up cafe's, so people can have a coffee and meet up.

Would be fantastic in the summer.

AAA said...

Recently looked at a house on that road and i echo Anons comments on scruffyness!

Also the flytipping has included some japanese knotweed - not a massive infestation but needs to be treated urgently and people will have trouble getting a mortgage with a known issue like that...

Best of luck to the gardeners - perhaps there is some way of wording any tenancy/adoption document so that the community gardeners avoid any liability if the knotweed spreads?

Cool Hand Luke said...

Watch the chain gang crew don't organise a breakout.....or attempt to eat 40 eggs. Will there be a buxom wench washing a car in the background?*

Kidding! This is all good


*watch the film if you don't know what I'm on about.

Fuschia said...

Hi, this is great news.. i've recently moved to the area and have thought there is so much potential, s glad something is happening now. I would very much like to get involved but am unable to attend the next meeting s there an email I could contact to get more info/keep up to date.

Anonymous said...

a nice little breakfast bar on the platform would be nice

Fast Fresh Food said...

Imagine if you could just get off the train and say "half a pound of carrots please" and they just dug them up for you there and then. Express Carrots.

Anonymous said...

I hope somebody treats the 'Community Payback' workers to a nice breakfast at Star Cafe.

Cabbages for crime said...

@fuschia, just steal a car and you may get 60hrs of "payback" everyone's a winner!

Anonymous said...

If you're in a position where you're judged to be liable for community payback I can tell you now, you're not living the cushy life on the conservation area that so many of you feel so cosy with.

Spare a thought for those who have to worry about slightly more than where the next bag of fennel comes from.

Anonymous said...

fennel doesn't need to be supplied in bags, it can be bought loose and then placed in your recyclable-environmentaly-friendly hemp reusable bag - you obviously don't live in the conservation zone dahhling

Anons school teacher said...

Anon@ 17:57, please don't be a dickhead. Your sixth form class war comments says a lot more about your silly preconceptions than anyone else's. perhaps when you grow up you will reflect on your idiocy.

Bit confused about the fennel thing myself as it happens.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, well the post does read a bit "next step.. get community payback to clear the site... then local residents can get on with the lovely community building process of shared gardening"
Are both groups be involved at both these stages, bit more emphasis on community building and a bit less on payback?

Anonymous said...

Like Fuschia above I have also only recently moved to the area and think this is a fantastic idea. Similarly I can't make the meeting but would love to help, so if there is an email address to contact that would be great.

Thank you so much to the people involved that have got the project this far!

Big Greg said...

From the info provided it doesn't look like it, but are they they thinking of removing any of the trees from the site? I really hope not as they are in short supply round here...nice idea btw

Anonymous said...

Seems there is a lot of support for this from the relevant authorities, which is encouraging.

I hope it turns out like the garden at Brockley Station, which is a very attractive feature and the hard work of those involved is widely appreciated.

Rail stations are used by so many people, there is a lot of potential across London for this sort of thing.

Crofton Park assembly Coordinator said...

Thanks for your positive feedback about the community garden, to answer a few questions...

Communtiy Payback are only being approached to do some initial site clearance and not to do all the hard work.

There is no plan to remove any trees.

Our LBL Conservation Officer has confirmed that the site being used for the garden by the station building does not have Knotweed and that the Knotweed is at the other end of the road. But we are going to look into this further as we are aware that it is very invasive (fingers crossed).

Volunteers are very welcome to join the community garden, but people must sign up offically as a volunteer as we need to provide a list of people to Southeastern accessing the land. All gardeners will need to have a station health and saftey briefing by Southeastern before accessing the site due to proximity to station and track.

Anyone wishing to get involved who can't the make the meeting this Saturday, can contact me Sarah Eaglestone the Crofton Park Assembly Coordinator at Sarah.eaglestone@lewisham.gov.uk.

A bit of background information about the garden and the process taken so far.....this project has been developed as a result of local residents raising the issue of flytipping and neglect on Marnock Road at past Crofton Park assembly public meetings and then putting forward the idea of a community garden as a solution to this problem. The Crofton Park assembly and youth assembly then voted to co- fund this project from Local Assemblies funding.

Local Residents, Council Officers and a Local Counicillor have been working behind the scenes in partnership with Southeastern to initiate the project. A group of local residents have voluntered as communtiy gardeners but we are still inviting more local people to get involved and take this forward.

The next Crofon Park assembly public meeting is on 12 November, 7.30pm at St Saviours Church Hall, Brockley Rise, Please come along and get involved!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the update Sarah!

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