Community Gardening

improving health and well being, valuing food and connecting communities through local food growing 

Growing Communities

As part of Merton's Food Poverty Action Plan, Sustainable Merton aims to increase the use of growing spaces to tackle food poverty by helping residents of all ages to:

 

  • Learn more about the food system and where food comes from.

  • Access, grow and cook fresh, healthy, nutritious food.

  • Develop new skills in an inclusive, friendly environment.

  • Get outdoors and feel more connected with their community.

  • Improve overall health and well-being.

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PHIpps Bridge

community garden

Our flagship community garden

Established in 2008 by Sustainable Merton, in collaboration with the National Trust, Merton Abbey Horticultural Society, Merton Council and the local community, Phipps Bridge Community Garden is an example of community gardening at its best.

 

Our team rescued 4 allotments from disuse and helped bring the rest of the site into use as mini-plots for local residents and the site has flourished for over 10 years.

The local community has been involved throughout the project, contributing time and skills, as well as donations of recycled wood pallets, compost, tools, and much, much more

Through regular commitment, our volunteers have transformed this space into a social and productive food growing hub, and the garden now produces an abundance of fruit and veg – up to 750kg per year!

VOLUNTEER

​Wednesday workdays run from 10am - 1pm

Acess via the alleyway beside 58 New Close (View on map)

Community Harvest

We are delighted that Phipps Bridge Community Garden is now part of the Community Harvest project; a new initiative by Capital Growth providing community food gardens with tools, materials and advice to grow more food for the local community.

Community Harvest was created in response to community food gardens, who expressed enthusiasm to grow more food to donate to people living in their neighbourhoods, particularly those who need it the most.

"We're using the Community Harvest funding to buy crops which we can plant and sow right away, which means we'll be able to keep harvesting and donating produce to Merton's Community Fridge for several more months. 

 

Over the summer months, we're normally too busy harvesting and maintaining the land to think much about autumn and winter crops, but the Community Harvest project has made us review our activities and see how we can make better use of our land until later in the year."

 

Ruth

Community Gardening Coordinator

We have been using Capital Growth's Harvest-o-meter to keep track of how much food we have grown at Phipps Bridge Community Garden during the 2020 growing season and, so far, we've harvested 222.8 kg of produce to the value of £1,030.41, equal to 2,785 meals. Well done team!

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Mitcham

Community Orchard

Award-winning community orchard

The creation of Mitcham Community Orchard, led by Sustainable Merton in partnership with Merton Council as part of the Dig Merton initiative, inspired 200 residents and 12 local partners and businesses to help transform a derelict area of spare land into an award-winning community orchard with 30 different varieties of fruit trees, 7 raised beds, ponds, a soft fruit collection and a wildflower meadow.

Awards include London in Bloom, Merton in Bloom, the national LGC award for community gardens, and a Team London Award.

The site’s development continues and it has been used for numerous barbecues and parties by local residents and groups. The orchard is a community and educational resource to be enjoyed by everyone and we need the help of local volunteers to keep it growing strong.

VOLUNTEER

​Weekday and weekend opportunities

Fieldgate Lane, Mitcham CR4 3AL

(View on map)

Volunteers are needed for our Community Action Days (see Events) and for ongoing maintenance (e.g. weeding and watering). Join our team of volunteers to learn from others and share your skills to help care for this wonderful local food growing hub.

The Site

Wildlife

As part of the habitat plan to develop the site to be more welcoming to wildlife the following projects have been started.

Ponds Installed


Three wildlife ponds are now installed in a complex in the corner near the currant bushes. They are optimised for wildlife, using banks with holes and crevices and planted with British native aquatic plants. We hope to attract toads, frogs and a host of colourful insects, such as damselflies.

Wildlife Hedge


We have now planted 120 metres of hedgerow around the site, which will grow into and around the current chestnut paling fence whilst it is establishing. As well as providing a valuable habitat for wildlife, the hedgerow is comprised of edible bushes - hazel, blackthorn, elder, dog rose and crab apples. This was achieved through a donation of 420 saplings from the Woodland Trust, planted with the help of over 40+ volunteers.

Wildflower Meadow

We have now seeded almost 100m2 of wildflower meadow as part of our habitat plan. This will provide a valuable habitat for wildlife such as butterflies, moths and bees. The wildlife ponds abut this area, bringing together our biodiversity habitat plan.

Gardening for health and well being

 

Food growing is becoming more widely recognised by health professionals and others working towards improving health.

 

Increasing people’s exposure to, and use of, green spaces has been linked to:

 

  • Long-term reductions in overall reported health problems.

  • Reduced levels of obesity and increased activity.

  • Higher self-rated mental health and improved self-esteem.

  • Reductions in depression and anxiety and improved social function.

  • Weakened effect of income inequalities on health.

  • Increased intake of fruit and vegetables by children.

"What joy to spend time out of doors and to actually make things grow- and then eat them!

Dan

Community Champion

Partner Projects

Sustainable Merton supports a number of Community Gardens across the borough run by partner groups.

All are in need of volunteers to keep them growing strong and you can be a part of these great projects working to connect communities and provide a space for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn more about local food growing and gardening. 

Friends of 

Figge's Marsh

Laburnum Road

Herb Garden

Nelson

Gardens

Christ Church

Community Garden

All Saints

Community Garden

LATest POSTS

USEful links

More on food

merton's community fridge

Alleviating food poverty and reducing food waste in Merton

merton's FOOD poverty action plan

Working together to tackle food waste and food inequalities across the borough

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Sustainable Merton

Registered Charity No. 1156639

Call us:

020 3417 0476

Find us: 

Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, London SM4 5JD

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