We want to grow a greener Britain by creating or transforming green spaces across the UK.
We want to build a beautiful 80sqm garden at the back of The White House, a former farmer's cottage on the Becontree Estate. We have already raised over £150k to restore the listed house and turn it into a community arts space, but we need more money to enhance the space by building a new Community Garden. The White House Community Garden will be open for all local residents to use, reflecting the historical tradition and importance of gardens on the estate. From the 1920s living in Becontree meant having a place to grow plants, fruit and vegetables and spend leisure time outside for the first time since the first world war. This garden will be open to anyone wanting to learn how to grow plants or garden, or who simply wants to spend time outdoors and meet new people. The garden can also be used as an inspiration for new projects from the resident artists, and for community activities by local groups. It will be a beautiful, green, educational and community strengthening oasis.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Our dedicated team, supported by the local council are working hard to restore a listed House, and to create a new garden that will have even greater benefits for the local community and visitors to the area. It will serve as a new place where people of all ages and backgrounds can reconnect with nature, gaining new skills and making new connections across the estate and with their neighbours. It will be a new landmark asset for Becontree and a space for resident artists to produce new work with local people for at least the next 25 years. The new garden will be a source of inspiration for art projects and to be a resource for the production of new community activities. The new space will be a connecting point for local people and the resident artists which will foster community development and make the area more vibrant and a better place to live. We will develop the garden so it can prosper over years, with local ownership and facilitating local pride and individual empowerment.
Steps to get it done:
The garden will be planted to mark out the natural calendar, passing seasons and years. The Becontree estate famously held competitions for the most well kept garden. The winners were awarded prizes of £2,000 (a substantial amount back then) up to 1970s. This new project will provide a way of restoring an interest and enthusiasm for gardens, the benefits of urban growing and an exploration of and understanding of the value of local green spaces. We wish to revive the community spirit that benefited communities in the past, and whist we won't be handing out prizes, we'll certainly be providing spaces and trowels!
About the space
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham