Working in London’s East End: Green Spaces

As promised, in my post about the V&A Sackler Lecture, I’d like to profile some of the work the college is doing in London’s East End; projects, initiatives and partnerships we hope to build on. This week is Green Week at the college and UAL so I thought I’d start with the fantastic work the LCF Green Council have been doing over the past few years around our green spaces.

The Cordwainers Community Garden is based at the College’s Mare Street site in Hackney.

Cordwainers Community Garden

Since early 2011 we have built seventeen raised beds which are used as allotments for local people and students at the college. We have also dug a mixed border for wildlife-friendly plants as well as fruit bushes and trees, and planted an Urban Orchard. Heirloom varieties of apple trees planted include, amongst others, the delicious sounding London Pippin, Cornish Aromatic and Barnack Beauty.

LCF students and staff have also worked with the community to build a dye bed to grow natural dyes, which are being used to dye fabrics.

Flax Garment

Since May last year students and staff involved with the LCF Garden have been collaborating with the Cordwainers Community Garden and Seeds of Fashion, with the goal of growing a fashion garment from flax seeds within the M25.

The rear of the garden has been left as a wild space, where we have built a pond to encourage biodiversity. We keep two beehives here and will also be putting up bat boxes, to support the local wildlife and biodiversity. We are in the process of building a shed from recycled materials as well as a plastic bottle greenhouse.The garden is maintained and run wholly by volunteers. Ages range from about 20 to about 70.

Good quality green space is a vital element of a civilized urban environment, and the benefits of green space are so many; for recreation, play and contemplation. The Community Garden is the home of many inspiring initiatives and sparks the imagination of our students and staff.

Recently our Sustainability Coordinator Rosie Willatt ran a competition ‘LCF Green Thoughts’ to inspire students to think about Sustainability in relation to fashion.

If you are interested in joining the LCF Green Council please contact:
Rebecca Doolan r.doolan@fashion.arts.ac.uk
Rosie Willatt r.willatt@fashion.arts.ac.uk

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