Creating Commons in New Cross

Funded on Spacehive 4 April 2015

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Creating Commons in New Cross

Creating Commons in New Cross

The Field By The Field

This is a project to collectively design, fund, build and maintain a new common resource – a public garden in New Cross with facilities to support local self-organised activities, events and projects.

Lewisham Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 04 Apr 2015!

This isn't just a community garden! This is an experiment in the act of collectively creating new common space, in negotiating its use, how its run and maintained so it can to meet the diverse needs and interests of everyone who uses it.

After a year of research: consultations, surveys, design workshops and public meetings, we have developed a picture of how the garden of 385 Queens Road can be best put to use. We found, from those conversations, that people in the area want:

A place for different people in the neighbourhood to come together and meet each other.

A public place we feel a sense of ownership over.

A productive garden, where skills relating to food growing, health, environment, resilience and self-sufficiency can be learned and shared.

A place with the resources to facilitate diverse public events, activities and projects.

A relaxing outdoor space away from the main road running through New Cross.

What we'll deliver:

  • A covered social area will be created for us to meet, for public events, performances, film screenings and parties.
  • A glasshouse will provide space for group meetings & classes, as well as for growing.
  • We will build a workshop to host practical events, classes & projects.
  • We will create growing spaces to experiment with urban agriculture methods, including a roof-garden.
  • An outdoor kitchen will make neighbourhood meals, events and People's Kitchens possible.
  • The workshop will be a resource with the tools for people to make, repair & experiment.

Why it's a great idea:

This project is about finding effective ways that neighbourhoods can create shared resources for themselves.

This garden has been co-designed, and will be run and programmed by, the people that use it, making it relevant to what we actually want and need in the area.

The building will be carried out by those who will be using and maintaining it afterwards. The process has been designed so that there are always opportunities for people to learn new skills. The educational emphasis to the project as a whole is important, self-organised skill sharing and knowledge exchange between different people in the area utilises and strengthens the skills of those involved, rather then relying on outside experts.

Once complete the garden will have 4 distinct new social spaces providing the room, the tools, and the network of skilled community members to not only maintain and use this space, but, we hope, to facilitate other self-organised projects in the wider area.

Steps to get it done:

  • Regular open assemblies to discuss progress, problems, make decisions and organise events.
  • Teaching sessions led by experienced local makers will be held throughout the building process.
  • We will build this garden using as much local, surplus and reused material as possible.
  • Buddying skilled people with those who want to learn, to facilitate knowledge & skill sharing.
  • Building work will be carried out by those who helped design and fund it.
  • Designs have been created collaboratively over a year of public meetings and design workshops.
  • Working groups will be responsible for different areas of work: building, growing, events.

Once complete, the garden will host a diversity of events, programmed by those that live around it and that use and care for it. There are things that are planned for the space once ready, and others that are happening already and will move to the garden once completed, such as:

A free bike maintenance workshop.

New Cross People's Kitchen – a weekly free meal cooked with surplus food that aims to create a forum for conversation & action in the area.

Herbal medicine meet-up attended by people from all over the world exchanging knowledge & skills from different traditions.

Film, music, poetry and performance evenings led by local artists.

Production of products which could help sustain The Field & it's members: fruit & veg, herbs, bread, pizza, beer, furniture...


Location Lewisham

About the space

The back garden of 385 Queens Road.


London Borough of Lewisham

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How will the money be spent?Total £9,682

Timber: 8ft Scaffolding Boards x 400 - £2,000 (21%)
Plants & Trees - £600 (6%)
Roof insulation boards x 7 - £588 (6%)
Timber: Railway Sleepers, 8ft x 20 - £360 (4%)
Bike Tool Set - £300 (3%)
Public Liability Insurance - £300 (3%)
Insulated Plasterboard x 20 - £300 (3%)
Waterproof Canvas, 40m2 - £280 (3%)
Soil: 5 tonnes compost - £250 (3%)
550 bricks - £225 (2%)
Other - £4,479 (46%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Timber: 8ft Scaffolding Boards x 400
Plants & Trees
Roof insulation boards x 7
Timber: Railway Sleepers, 8ft x 20
Bike Tool Set
Public Liability Insurance
Insulated Plasterboard x 20
Waterproof Canvas, 40m2
Soil: 5 tonnes compost
550 bricks
  • Spacehive fees
  • Timber: 2x4", 210m
  • Skip Hire
  • Van Hire
  • Internal Wall Insulation Boards x 10
  • Timber: 12mm osb boards 2.4x1.2 x 12
  • Sharp Sand 400kg
  • Concrete 5m2
  • Joist Wall Hangers x 50
  • Power Drill
  • Circular saw
  • Timber: 20m2 Trellis
  • Castor Wheels x 40
  • Tyvek Building Wrap 100m
  • 30 Shelving brackets
  • Fire bricks x 50
  • 100mm Coach bolt x 500
  • 70mm wood screws x 2500
  • Seeds & Bulbs
  • Sink x 2
  • Roofing felt 32m2
  • Gas bottle and gun hire
  • 2 water butts
  • VAT
  • 30m 1 1/2 Inch waste water pipe
  • Furring Strips x 50m
  • 30m2 Perspex
  • Timber: 3x3", 60m
  • Cement 200kg
  • Clay 200kg
  • 100m Damp Proof Course Roll
  • Soil: 5 tonnes topsoil
  • Transaction Fees
  • 2 x 2m2 Glass window unit
  • 2x roof window units
  • Roofing felt underlay 32m2
  • Eyelet Punch and Eyelets
  • Electrical cable 2.5mm x 100m
  • 16m Gutter Pipe
  • Double external electricity socket
  • Combination Lock for Gate
  • Timber: Telegraph Pole
  • Timber: 1" batten, 150m
  • Hand Saws x 5
  • Flashing tape 3.75m x 3
  • 50m Hose Pipe
  • 2 1 1/2 inch sink traps
  • Tape Measure x 5
  • Paint Brush Set
  • Hand Screwdriver Set
  • Gate Hinges
  • Plasterboard Screws x 500
  • Steel Turnbuckle x 10
  • Pad Eyes x 10
  • 2 outdoor electrical junction boxes
  • Wall Plugs x 500
  • 10 1 1/2 inch elbow connectors
  • Indoor Light Fittings x 4
  • Wall Ties x 500

Total £9,682

Our Wish List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and stuff to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Offer Something' button to the right to get involved.

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