Samantha Cameron visited a thriving community garden project in Tower Hamlets yesterday, where undeterred by the cold weather she rolled up her sleeves to plant new seedlings.
Local residents of the Teesdale and Hollybush estate in Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, gave the Prime Minister’s wife a tour of their gardens. Created by Rocky Park Urban Growers, the gardens are part of Capital Growth, a London-wide community grow-your-own-food campaign.
Samantha Cameron said: “Capital Growth want to help Londoners transform the capital by creating 2,012 new food growing spaces by the end of 2012. I hope my visit will raise awareness of the initiative and encourage Londoners to get involved in making the scheme a reality in their own area.”
Launched in 2008 by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Capital Growth encourages local residents throughout the city to get creative in transforming land in their area. Commenting on the Teesdale and Hollybush estate’s garden, he said: “This fantastic project in Bethnal Green shows how communities working together can reclaim unwanted patches of earth and turn them into food growing oases, all the while getting to know their neighbours. This embodies exactly what the Capital Growth campaign is all about.”
This is not first time the Tower Hamlets estate has impressed the London green-crowd, having recently placed as runner-up in Capital Growth’s Edible Estates competition in the “Best Estate Garden” category. The borough is at the forefront of the Capital Growth campaign, with Tower Hamlets Homes agreeing to create a community food garden in each of its 27 neighbourhoods.
Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food, said: “The Rocky Park Urban Growers have shown what can be done to transform neglected spots into thriving, beautiful food growing spaces the whole community can enjoy.
More than 20,000 Londoners are now involved in our 600 Capital Growth plots all of which have an inspirational story behind them. We have been thrilled to show off this project to Samantha Cameron.”