Charlton Community Gardens was set up in 2012 with the aim of bringing unloved and unused spaces back into productive community use. The garden at Charlton Station is our first garden and was started in April 2013. It is being developed as an organic, demonstration garden to show that food can be grown in small spaces as well as provide habitats for wildlife.
We have been supported with a grant from the National Gardens Scheme/Royal Horticultural Society Elspeth Thompson Bursary, and we have been given use of the station area by Southeastern Railways. More recently, we have attracted sponsorship from local businesses to continue maintaining and improving the garden.
The garden is run with a Management Committee of 9 people. A series of open meetings and the interest of enthusiastic passers-by has given us a list of nearly 100 volunteers and supporters who carry out the tasks of seed sowing, planting, weeding, watering and maintenance. Having a garden here at the station is excellent for visibility and ensures we are available to the whole community. Our volunteers span the categories: family members and live-alones, old and young, experienced and novice gardeners.
Working with local groups and organisations is fundamental to our project so that we can share skills and knowledge and build stronger community networks. Links have been made with a range of local schools and organisations.
We are now planning the next phase of our development and are seeking new sites and projects to further our objectives.