In early October 2021, we successfully agreed a lease for a patch of land in the Elmgrove estate in Walton. The quarter acre field was formally the bowling club for the visually impaired, but has been abandoned for roughly 6 years.
This little known area is enclosed on all sides by hedge, wall or fence, hence why many people don’t even know it exists. Our plans are to turn “The Field” into a Community Garden, where volunteers can help create a safe oasis of calm, whilst at the same time producing food, flowers and herbs for all.
We aim to have a “wild” area, of natural grasses and flowers, in which it is hoped will encourage wildlife including pollinators visit and enjoy as much as we do. We will also have a small pond, raised beds and traditional “allotment” style bedding, a composting area and some benches for volunteers to sit and enjoy the garden.
Our first objective is to make the field safe. There are number of redundant fox holes, litter, brambles etc that need to be removed or cut back before we can allow volunteers in. We will work with Central Surrey Voluntary Action to identify local people who want to donate 1-2 hours per week to help create and maintain the garden.
We are working with an occupational therapist to ensure the garden is accessible and safe for everyone. The design will incorporate wide paths for wheelchairs, mobility scooters and prams, and raised beds to reduce the amount of back bending etc required.
We hope to have the site made safe, the design agreed and be advertising for volunteers by mid November. We can then start preparing the field for the growing season, identifying our needs and hopefully having a lot of fun in preparation for spring planting.
You can see a few photos of our progress below: