Dig Merton was the brainchild of Councillor Andrew Judge, and was designed to encourage community food and plant growing in Merton, with individual projects being run ‘by the community for the community’.
The initiative aimed to help as many residents as possible to enjoy the many benefits of working on local land – which could be anything from a park, a verge on the corner of an alleyway, to a flower bed that needs a bit of TLC - i.e. an area of land that could be put to better use than it is at present.
Along with Sustainable Merton, other organisations involved with Dig Merton included Merton Priory Homes, Merton Chamber of Commerce and May Project Gardens.
Based on agreed funding from the London Borough of Merton and discussions about moving the project forward, it was decided that Sustainable Merton’s role would include:
working with all other partner stakeholders and to clarify the roles that each of these will adopt during its pilot year
working with Merton Council to engage with the public to advise them on how they could get involved,
working with their communications team and partner stakeholders to actively promote and record the progress of 5 pilot projects at various sites.
Throughout its duration, a number of blossoming community garden spaces were created by local people as part of the Dig Merton initiative- one of which is now an award-winning community orchard - the beautiful Mitcham Community Orchard and Gardens!
We worked with volunteers to initiate the individual projects - helping to run action days and providing practical gardening support.
A number of the projects are still going strong as a result of the hard work of the communities maintaining them and we will continue to support their efforts moving forward as part of our work around the issue of Food.