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Roman Road Butley Court Community Orchard #1


#1 >> CONTENT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

CHAPTER 1 AMBITION 1.0 > CONTEXT 2.0 > OBJECTIVES 3.0 > COLLABORATORS

CHAPTER 2 MEATHODOLOGY 1.0 > PUBLIC WORKS 2.0 > PROJECT APPROUCH i. Gather and Audience ii. Developing a Program iii. Ensuring a Legacy

CHAPTER 3 ACTIVERTIES 1.0 > ENGAGEMENT 2.0 > OUTREACH 3.0 > WORKHOPS AND EVENTS Orchard Launch Big Lunch Apple Festival Abbey Gardens Visit Big Plant Solstice Plant

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CHAPTER 4 LEARNINGS 1.0 > SUCCESS i. ii. iii. iv. v.

Location Partnerships with Clarion Initiatives Resident Led Publicty Local Donations Orchard Ambasidors

2.0 > IMPROVEMENTS i. ii. iii.

Deliver Program through Schools Enagment with Elderly Residents Social Media Campaign


Key community members > ROMAN ROAD TRUST, CLARION HOUSING GROUP,

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>> EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In a community engagement report (InterAct Report) created in 2016, in Bow - East London, there was consensus about the importance of active green spaces rather than the abundant municiple lawns. This lead to the creation of an idea of Wilderness project. This project which started as the Wilderness project transformed through diverse community engagement into Butley Court Community Orchard. In conversation with Old Ford housing Association, the land owners, the Orchard project started to gain momentum and has become a success story with local residents constituting a Friends of Edible Bow group. The AFA grant enabled us to not only set up a new Orchard in an otherwise underused grassland but also allowed us to facilitate the creation of this new group, and secured funds of £18,000 from Greater London Authority’s Greener City Fund to create three new edible gardens in the neighbourhood. The events funded by AFA grant for the Orchard enabled the Roman Road Trust to engage a wider ethnically diverse and hard to reach community. Roman Road Trust commissioned an experienced and specialist organisation on creation of community gardens ‘Roam Agency’ to deliver this project .

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‘Roam Agency’ in collaboration with RRT secured the additional funds from Greener city fund and community fund from Clarion Housing association to undertake more orchards and capacity building to empower communities to self manage the gardens.


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>> UNDER USED GREEN SPACE 7


>> TRANSFORMED THROUGH COMMUNITY EVENTS 8


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>> CHAPTER 1 PROJECT AMBITION

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CHAPTER 1 - PROJECT AMBITION 1.0 > CONTEXT

The Butley Court Orchard, sits behind the Roman Road on a green space that form part of the Old Ford Estate, run and managed by Old Ford Housing association. This estate, like many of the post war housing around the Roman Road, consists of a mixture of low rise housing block with three high rise towers.

During the walk, which was designed to visit the different housing and businesses around the Roman Road, it became clear that the green spaces on the estate currently play very little role in the lives of the residents. The residents expressed an interest in supporting a gardening project to improve these green spaces.

Within the estate there are large areas of green space which are maintained by Growing Concern a local gardening social enterprise, through the housing association Clarion. During the project the housing associations changed from Circle the Clarion, one of the larges housing associations in the country.

The program for delivering the orchard, through a series of public events, was developed in response to a questionnaire handed out at the Roman Road Festival. Data from this questionnaire illustrated large group of residents on the estate have children and would be interested in more child friendly outdoor activities.

The Old Ford Estate has a mixture housing with both flats and maisonettes, which are more popular for families. The orchard is located within between the two low rise blocks reserved for the over 60’s.

The project was located close to housing with many young families and the adventure playground which attracts children from across the neighbourhood. As a result the design and planting of the garden was planned to be delivered through a series of workshops aimed at children.

Within the high-rise tower blocks there is a large population of Somarli and Bangeldeshi residents. At the base of these blocks there is an adventure playground, which attracts children from across east London. The funding for the orchard was raised in response to feedback gathered during the Roman Road Open Space walks, organised and led by Roam Agency.

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Through an interest in the educational value of these workshops the garden was proposed as a wildlife garden. It followed larger London wide initiatives to improve the wildlife found within green spaces the Grow Wild campaign. This focus on wildlife gardening underused plots was also informed by the Greening Grey Britain and the RHS initiatives to improve green spaces in urban areas.


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CHAPTER 1 - PROJECT AMBITION 2.0 > OBJECTIVES

A £10,000 grant from ‘Awards for All’ was securd to fund a serries of workshops, to establish a community Orchard on the Old Ford Estate. Through consultation with the communiy groups within the estate and Growing Concern a local plant nursey, a location for the garden was finalised and agreed on. The first workshops, which took place within the garden, where designed to gather audience and build a community around the project. The workshop was also designed to develope a collaborative planting plan. Wildflowers were planted during these first workshops, to support the existing planting provided by Growing Concern, and regular water rostas were set up by the local community for watering.

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This planting illustrated a local comitment to the project. Number of volunteers who supported these events and the after care of the wild flowers, enforced the demand within the estate to support a community orchard, which was planted in the autumn. These events also acted as platforms to capacity build with the community to form a future gardening group that could care for the garden once the project was completed. The funding was secured by the Roman Road Trust, and delivery undertaken by Roam Agency, from December 2016 until December 2017. Consequently in March 2018 a constituted group formed. The project is supported by the InterAct Hub, a project by Cass Architecture students and Public Works project on the Roman Road.


IMPROVE THE APPEARANCE ON THE ESTATE

IMPROVE THE PHYSICAL WELL-BEING OF THE RESIDENTS

START A GARDEING GROUP TO SUSTAIN THE ORCHARD

ENCOURAGING SIMILAR PROJECTS LOCALY

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HEIGHLIGHT THE VALUE OF THE GREEN SPACES

ENGAGE WTH THE CULTURAL DIVERSITY OF THE RESIDENTS

CHILDREN ENAGE WITH THE ENVIRONMENT

PROMOTE A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT

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>>>>>>>THROUGH A PROGRAM OF EVENTS


CHAPTER 1 - PROJECT AMBITION 3.0 > AUDITS AND SURVEYS

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CHAPTER 1 - PROJECT AMBITION 3.0 > AUDITS AND SURVEYS

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CHAPTER 1 - PROJECT AMBITION 3.0 > AUDITS AND SURVEYS

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CHAPTER 4 - COLLABORATORS

Such a grass roots development project requires many partners with different specialisations to enable their sustainability. The success of such a project is in establishing strong links and alliances. It is crucial to make sure ethnically diverse groups, demographics and communites as well as corporate partners are involved.

Roam Agency Ltd offered the delivery of the project based on their experience in developing and sustaining long term community garden projects.

We had no formal contracts with land owners Old Ford Housing Association as the company was in the process of a merger to become Clarion Housing Association. Discussions were held that once the merger happens more formal relations can be established with Clarion Futures for Communities. Consequently it is CFC that have agreed to support the project in its future. Growing Concern offered the horticultural advice for the garden and donated some plants.

GROWING CONCERN

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ROAM AGENCY: ABBEY GARDENS


CHAPTER 4 - COLLABORATORS

ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND

PAUL PEARCE: BUTLEY COURT

EDIBLE LANDSCAPES

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>> CHAPTER 2 METHODOLOGY SITUATED PROGRAM

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CHAPTER 2 - METHODOLOGY > SITUATED PROGRAM 1.0 > ROAM AGENCY APPROACH

Roam Agency embed themselves within communities which is what they call situated. These are through temporary interventions and roaming programs recruting communities that either become actively engaged with projects or passively engaged through coming to events. Either way the projects develop a mainling list of interested residents which will grow over time.

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CHAPTER 2 - METHODOLOGY > SITUATED PRACTICE 2.0 > APPROUCH

Gather and Audience Ensuring a Legacy > Attended meetings of existing community groups on the estate. > Developing relationships with local shop owners and business to promote the project and embed it into the local economy. > Developing partnerships with other growing projects within the area who have a similar objective, to explore how we can share resources > Work with other local community organisation.

> Initiate a gardening group led by local residents > Develope a social media presence for the Orchard > Collect two mailing lists, interested in events, closely supporting the project. > Develop trust between the gardening group and housing association. > Capacity build with local residents and volunteers to develop the key skills such as fund raising, organising volunteers and planning events.

Developing a Program > Holding events within the public spaces of the estate, to gather local audience. >Develop a planting plan through conversation with residents, and public events > Plant the orchard through public events to ensure that the residents feel a sense of ownership for the trees.

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>> CHAPTER 3 ACTIVITIES CONSTRUCTED THROUGH EVENTS

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CHAPTER 3 - ACTIVITIES - CONSTRUCTION THROUGH EVENTS 1.0 > ENGAGEMENT

OLD FORD LEASE HOLDERS MEETING Based on the contacts which had already developed through previous projects, Roam Agency was invited to present the ambition for a community garden to the Old Ford Lease Holders meeting early in the project. The Presentation described the program of workshops that would be devliverd through the funding and the ambition of the proejct to start a community gardening group. The project presented the opportunity to take positive action to improve the estate and show a commitment to it up keep and physical appearance. This meeting gave the opportunity to meet res-

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idents from across the estate and building of a mailing list for residents who were interested in supporting the project. Based on the email addresses that where gathered as a result of this presentation, a further meeting was organised for the next week with the residents who were interested in supporting the project. Based on conversation with Growing Concern we produced a map of green spaces which could host the community garden.


CHAPTER 3 - ACTIVITIES - CONSTRUCTION THROUGH EVENTS 1.0 > ENGAGEMENT

CANVASSING THE ESTATE Naomi and Ash

Jyoti

Once a site for the project had been agreed Roam Agency canvassed the estate that would over-look the garden with Naomi a local resident and Ash her son.

Continuing this stratergy of engagement, before each of the events Jyoti a local resident who lives opposite the site, went door to door, inviting residents to the event.

These conversations where designed to make residents aware of the project and gathering ideas for the type of planting they would like to see for the space.

These conversations were an important way of engaging with residents who did not provide an email or did not respond to the emails about the events.

From these conversations it became clear that there was local support for an orchard within the garden, providing blossom in the spring and fruit in the Autumn. Much of this feedback was in response to the recent felling of trees across the estate.

Through Jyoti’s existing networks the events attracted residents who were not already active within any community activities in the neighbourhood.

SUPPORT THE

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ORCHARD

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AT BUTLEY COURT A

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CHAPTER 3 - ACTIVITIES - CONSTRUCTION THROUGH EVENTS 1.0 > ENGAGEMENT

DEVELOPING LOCAL PARTNERS ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND Situated opopsite the orchard, the adventure playground was an important partners for the project, providing space for meetings, putting up posters and providing loos and refreshments during the events. After the first wild flowers where planted the plaground let us use ther hoes to water the flowers. Many of the children who are visit the playground played an active role in the planting and maintnace of the orchard.

GROWING CONCERN Employd by Clarion to look after the green sapces of the estate, Gorwing Concern are a community interest group who care for the green spaces of the estate. Within the orchard they are responsible for cutting the grass and prunning the esitsting rose bushes. As a result the design for the orchard was developed through an understanding of their maintance. They donated all the tree of the orchard for their local nurse.

SATURDAY GROWING SESSIONS Within the playground there is a weekly gardening session run by a resident from within the estate, Roberta. This group supplied seedlings for the first event and loaned their tools and green house during the planting of the orchard.

EDIBLE LANDSCAPES The project first met through an event ebible landscape who run a forset gardenursey in Finnbury Park donated soft fruit trees and ground cover to the orchard.

THE ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND

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DONATED PLANTS


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CHAPTER 3 - ACTIVITIES - CONSTRUCTION THROUGH EVENTS 1.0 > ENGAGEMENT

Posters During first two events the posters were focused on attracting residents from within the estate, to gennerate a strong resident led support for the project. As a result these posters were given out to residents within each block. From distributing the posters it became clear how hard it is to access different areas of the estate, as each block requires a different pass swab to enter. However the lower rise blocks were easier to access. The caretakers helped with advertising within he estate, putting posters within the notice boards of the estate. After the the third event, when the project had a large mailing list from within the estate, residents

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started to deliver posters to buisness on the main high street - Roman Road. This opened the project up to a larger group of volunteers from beyond the estate. As a result of these conversations the orchard developed partenerships with a group of businesses along the Roman Road. During the last two events these businesses donated food that would have otherwise been thrown out. This was a barter in return for a sign on the food table, thanking the business designed and drawn by children from the estate.


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CHAPTER 3 - ACTIVITIES - CONSTRUCTION THROUGH EVENTS 1.0 > COMMUNICATION

Mailing List Through the previous partners and initial engagements and the series of six events, the Orchard gathered a mailing list of over 40 actively engaged residents as well as a series of local collaborators mentioned before. As the mailing list expanded to 80 residents through the events collective decision making became harder. Thus an email group was set up to both keep the identity of paticipants safe but ensure everyone is as involved as they wish. A new strategy needs to be put in place for more effective collective decision making.

the Roman Road Trust webiste with images from the day. This post was also featured in the monthly news letter. This publicity generated twenty new volunteers, however these volunteers were not as regularly involed in the orchard, due in part to their distance to the estate. Facebook Group A Facebook page was created for the Orchard advertising events, planting sessions and meetings. This group also posted images of what was planted, shared images of the events and discussed water rotas.

Roman Road Posts Each event was publicised by the Roman Road Trust, with the poster displayed on their facebook page. After each event a write up was posted on

THE ORCHARD FACEBOOK GROUP

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THE ROMAN ROAD WEBSITE


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CHAPTER 3 - ACTIVITIES - CONSTRUCTION THROUGH EVENTS 2.0 > WORKSHOP i. Orchard Launch

ATTENDED THE EVENT

MEETINGS TO ORGANISE EVENT

VOLUNTEERS INVOLVED

MAILING LIST SIGN UPS

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Local residents from the Old Ford Estate came together to lift turf and sow wildflower seeds, kicking off the first stage of planting for the community orchard.

There were activities for children, with a nature hunt, bird feeder making, and a storytelling workshop about the animals which live in an urban apple tree.

Thanks to a dry afternoon with bursts of sun, music from Markus Michelucc and a plethora of cakes baked by local residents, five new circular beds were created. These beds echo the existing circular rose beds. They have been planted with a mixture of wild flowers, donated by Grow Wild, designed to attract more urban wildlife to the estate.

The adjacent adventure playground donated seedlings from their greenhouse, which they potted up for local residents to take away. They also very kindly let us use their hose and tap to water the seeds at the end of the day.

Planting Circles of Wild Flowers

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Cakes Donated by Local Residents


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CHAPTER 3 - ACTIVERTIES - CONSTRUCTION THROUGH EVENTS 2.0 > WORKSHOP i. The Big Lunch

ATTENDED THE EVENT

MEETINGS TO ORGANISE EVENT

VOLUNTEERS INVOLVED

MAILING LIST SIGN UPS

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On Sunday the 25th of June 2017 residents of the Old Ford Estate and surrounding area support the second Butley Court Community Orchard event, sharing a collective meal in the sunshine. Residents brought dishes and shared their favourite recipes, using ingredients that could be grown in the orchard. After a feast of salads, bread, cheese, pastries and cakes, we planted a new semicircular bed on the perimeter of the orchard. The bed was planted with the soft fruits such as loganberries, raspberries and blackcurrants. Below the fruit bushes we planted small wild strawberries, mint, thyme and marjoram as ground cover. These plants were donated by Edible Land-

Reciepe Swap

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scapes, the edible forest garden in Finsbury Park. These plants will be looked after by a group of residents who have been watering the wild flower beds on a rota during the hot weather. A local resident Sula Mae played music during the meal and planting. The event attracted children from the estate and surrounding area. Naomi a local resident ran a cake decorating workshop, with a competition, decorating cakes to look like wild flowers. A host of urban wildlife were hidden around the orchard with maps to discover the wildlife. Roberta, another local, resident ran a workshop for children and adults to do something wild as part of the Wildlife Trust’s Wild June.

Planting Soft Fruit Trees


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CHAPTER 3 - ACTIVERTIES - CONSTRUCTION THROUGH EVENTS 2.0 > WORKSHOP i. The Apple Festival

ATTENDED THE EVENT

MEETINGS TO ORGANISE EVENT

VOLUNTEERS INVOLVED

MAILING LIST SIGN UPS

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At the Butley Court The Apple Festival was when first pair of fruit trees were planted, kicking off the autumn program of tree planting events at the orchard. In the autumn sunshine a group of residents from the local area cleared the ground and dug two large holes. The cox tree and espaliered cooking apple tree, which now flank the central path, were donated to the orchard by Growing Concern. Residents also help weed the three beds planted at the two previous events, giving space for the black currants, wild thyme and wild strawberries to grow. We were able to collect seeds from some of the wild flower mixes, which were planted earlier in the year, to spread across all the six beds.

Bird Feeder Making Workshop

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Everyone helped to make a series of bird feeders made from old apples donated by a fruit and veg stall on the Roman Road, to attract birds to the space before the trees have been established. There was a selection of home grown apples to eat and an apple crumble cooked by a local resident. The event also gave an opportunity to discuss the future of the project, who would be interested in supporting the orchard, how it could be run and what it could be used for in the future. The festival ended with a nature hunt around the orchard with a check-list of creepy crawlies hidden within the existing planting and amongst the new wild flower beds.

Planting the First Apple Tree


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CHAPTER 3 - ACTIVERTIES - CONSTRUCTION THROUGH EVENTS 2.0 > WORKSHOP i. Abbey Garden Visit

ATTENDED THE EVENT

MEETINGS TO ORGANISE EVENT

VOLUNTEERS INVOLVED

MAILING LIST SIGN UPS

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A group of residents from the Butley Court Orchard visited Abbey Gardens a local growing project in West Ham by Roam Agency. This visit to their chilli festival was an opportunity to see a garden, which has been established for over ten years. The trip was proposed during a governance meeting, as an opportunity to learn from a local community garden, and find inspiration for the Butely Court community orchard. Over 20 residents took a short taxi ride from theOld Ford Estate to the garden, funded by this grant. The residents were all from Sandall House one of the three tower blocks on the Old Ford Estate. They heard about the project through door to door leafleting by a resident of the block Jyoti. The residents were given a tour of the space by

Tour of the Garden

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their garden leader Alison Skeat, who showed some of the plants that are growing, explaining how the friends of Abbey gardens secured the space and describing how she looks after the plants by running three weekly volunteer sessions. While it was a little rainy in the morning it soon brightened up, and everyone kept warm with the spicy chilli soup and enjoyed the cakes baked by the local residents. The children at AG made chilli hats in the community room at the end of the garden, and played a game counting all the beds in the garden. At AG, the children from the estate in Bow who spotted the most flower beds were awarded a houseplant to look after in their home.

Trying Produce from the Garden


CHAPTER 3 - ACTIVERTIES - CONSTRUCTION THROUGH EVENTS 2.0 > WORKSHOP i. The Big Plant

ATTENDED THE EVENT

MEETINGS TO ORGANISE EVENT

VOLUNTEERS INVOLVED

MAILING LIST SIGN UPS

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The big orchard plant resulted in planting of six trees, donated by Growing Concerns. The four apple, one cherry and one peach trees form a circle within the centre of the orchard. Two further apple trees either side of the path were planted at the final event. Each tree was covered in a bag of mulch to suppress weeds and proved a source of food for the tree. The planting event was helped by the great work of our new team of orchard ambassadors, a group of seven children who live in Sandall house. These children put up the bunting, helped rake up the grass and set out the food on the morning before the event. They also tested the orchard games, leading these games once it had started. Due, in part, to half term we had more children at the big plant than we had ever had

Groups of Ambassadors Planting the Fruit Trees

before, helping with clearing the grass digging holes and planting the trees. The orchard ambassadors helped explain the project and organise the planting. There was soup, bread and cake which were served at the back of the orchard from a large gazebo borrowed from Abbey Gardens, as mentioned earlier. By using electric power from the Butley community centre we were able to serve hot drink such as teas and coffees and keep the hearty soup warm, which helped sustain the planting through out the day. There was also a spread of food donated by businesses from along the Roman Road, with cakes, salami, cheese and pastries as some of the highlights.

Donated Food from the Roman Road

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CHAPTER 3 - ACTIVERTIES - CONSTRUCTION THROUGH EVENTS 2.0 > WORKSHOP i. The Solstice Plant

ATTENDED THE EVENT

MEETINGS TO ORGANISE EVENT

VOLUNTEERS INVOLVED

MAILING LIST SIGN UPS

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Despite the wind and rain the Solstice Plant had a fantastic turn out for the last orchard planting event of the year. Through the almost constant showers 70 whips where planted, which will form an edible hedge along the edge of the orchard space. Considering the conditions this was a great achievement, with volunteers from the estate and local area planting over half of the hedging. The small whips were covered with plant protectors trained along criss crossing bamboo canes, to create a lattice hedge row. The hedge plants consisted of hazel, blackthorn, crab apple, dog rose, elder, rowan. These plants were donated to the orchard by the Woodland Trust as part of their free trees for school and communities scheme. Volunteers cleared one of the wild flowers beds ready to be planted with new flowers next year, lifting the dead plants, which had been left to sow seed for the next year. The display of wild flowers that the residents all enjoyed last year was due to the poor soil of the estate. These plants were removed from the beds ensuring that the nitrogen rich nutrients which was captured by the plants remain intact, and spoil next years display. When the rain became too intense the children took part in the wreath weaving workshop. The workshop was run by Roberta a local resident from the estate who helped the children create

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festive offerings from a circle of willow decorated with ivy, dried orange and ribbons. The fruits of this workshop can be seen on doors across the estate. This workshop took place under the gazebo kindley donated by the Friends of Abbey gardens another local growing project, without which the day would surely have ended a lot sooner. There was a fantastic selection of cakes, pastries, sandwiches and fruit donated by businesses from along the Roman Road. The planting was sustained by the generous donations from: Tolga, Cafe East, Hi land, Zealand Cafe, May and Harvey, Loafing and Symposium. Thank you notes, written by the orchards team of local children, can be seen along the Roman Road in the windows of these businesses. At the solstice plant we held a show of the plants the children had been given to look after at home. These plants with prizes for the best looked after plants and tips for those who had not fared so well over the last few months. The show was judged by Carlotta Novella, who assessed the plants according to their, leaf growth, flowers and smell, concluding what was a hugely successful, if very damp, final event of 2017.


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VOLUNTEERS PLANTING AN EDIBLE HEDGE

FOOD DONATED BY THE ROMAN ROAD BUSINESSES

ORCHARD AMBASSADOR PLANT SHOW

CHRISTMAS WREATH WORKSHOP


CHAPTER 3 - ACTIVERTIES - CONSTRUCTION THROUGH EVENTS 2.0 > OVERVIEW

ATTENDED THE EVENT

MEETINGS TO ORGANISE EVENT

VOLUNTEERS INVOLVED

MAILING LIST SIGN UPS

Orchard Launch

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The Big Lunch

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The Apple Festival

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Abbey Gardens Visit

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The Big Plant

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The Solstice Plant

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>> CHAPTER 4 LEARNINGS

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CHAPTER 4 - LEARNINGS 1.0 > SUCCESS i. Site

Carring out the workshop on the green spaces within the estate, meant that there was an conection between the volunteers and the space where they were living. Holding the events within a space that local residents have to walk past to get to the main high street and Roman Road market, meant that the events attracted new volunteers during the day, joining the planting after seeing the activities on offer. These volunteers were not part of the groups that were attracted by the posters and mailouts. The performative act of planting at the events became a key mechanism to expand the network of volunteers involed in the project. These events were supported by the existing group of volunteers, many of whome lived on the estate. By providing salads, hot dishes and cakes, the events where hosted by these resi-

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dents, as the orchard became an exention of their homes. They where able to respond to the day providing watering cans, music, cups and plates. In doing so gradually playing a more active role within the orchard. The project was as a result able to gather an active group of volunteers. Many residents within the two tower blocks that holds the most diverse residents and overlooked the garden were part of the volunteer team. They were easily able to give regualr updates on the progress of the garden and discourage any anitsocial behavour towards the garden between events. During the summer these volunteers and others from further across the estate, watered the wildflowers every day. Again the close proximity of the residents to the garden meant that they could easliy take responsiblity for the garden. Through the collective action of watering the garden the sense of ownership for the display in the orchard shared across the estate.


1.0 > SUCCESS ii. Partnerships with Clarion Initiatives

Adventure Playground

Growing Concern

Throughout the project the adventure playground has been a key partner providing space for meetings, helping with publicity and providing refreshments during the events.

As Growing Concern were responsible for the green spaces on the estate so it was key that any planting supported their exisintg work. However this collaboration was also an important opportunity to both celebrate what they do within the estate and develope a conversation about how the green spaces could be managed.

The existing network of children who go to the playground gave a critcal mass to the project, ensuring that there were always enough children to complete the proposed planting. The Playground helped with the water between events, sustaining a continuity for the project. The long standing work of playground illustrated a larger ambition for the orchard, where a gardening group could support the local social infrastucture.

Through conversations with residents on the estate it became clear, that while some were very enaged in the work of growing concern others had little idea who was resposible for the care of the estate. The events became an opportunity to cellebrate the work of growing concern within the estate. Through these events and other engagements we gathered evidence about how residents felt about the planting. It became a positive way of gathering evidence for demand beyond passive complaints.

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CHAPTER 4 - LEARNINGS 1.0 > SUCCESS iii. Resident led Publicity

Through a resident that we met at an event Jyoti, the project started a resident led publicity campaign for the last three events. These events attracted a new group of residents, from more ethnically diverse backgrounds than those who came to the first events. Through his indepth understanding of the estate, the different groups and how they operated we were able to enage with new sets of residents, who would be considered hard to reach. As a resident Jyoti was able to discuss the orchard as a member of the estate, gathering a more open platform for feed back. His support for the project generated a greater local trust for the project. His track record of long term support for community initiatives, convinced residents that the project would have a lagacy beyond one year funding. This helped to find a self sufficient network that can support the project into the future.

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1.0 > SUCCESS iv. Local Donations

During the last two events cafes, restaurants and green grocers from the Roman Road, who displayed posters for the project also donated food. The donations became a way to develope partnerships with these businesses. As well as decreasing the cost of the event, these donations illustrated how community events and commercial outlets can support life of a neighbourhood.


CHAPTER 4 - LEARNINGS 1.0 > SUCCESS i. Engagement with Young People on the Estate - Orchard Ambassadors

At each event a group of young people helped with the publicity, set up and clearing away of the event. This group, was named the Orchard Ambassadors Arriving in the morning, this group helped with event set up. This both reduced the time it took to set up the events and created a sense of gardening group enabling others to join the event and gave the children ambassadors agency. The ambassadors planted a tree in small groups and are now responsible for that tree, ensuring that the young people on the estate feel a sense of ownership for the trees and are invested in their future. This developed a culture of care for the orchard.

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CHAPTER 4 - LEARNINGS 1.0 > IMPROVEMENTS i. Delivering a Program in Schools

In the initial bid there was an ambition to work with schools as a way to develope an audience and gather local support for the project. However despite regularly visiting three schools in the area, Olga, Chisenhale and Old Ford Primary, we were unable to access heads of the schools to devliver workshops. This was due to us not getting passed the receptionist to find the person with decision making power. RRT however gave contacts to Olga school and this enabled us to start a relationship that can be fostered in the development of the orchards. With the further funding sercured for the project the next stage will be to deliver a program in a school.

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2.0 > IMPROVEMENTS ii. Engage with Elderly Residents

While there were some volunteers from the over 60’s blocks which overlooked the orchard, and this group were most involved in deciding the planting scheme, they were under represented at events, with more volunteers comming from across other low rise blocks and the tower blocks. This was in part due to the nature of the activities offered by the event, which were centred around the phyisical planting of the garden. While it has been very import to deliver the garden within the small budget, now the garden has been planted, it is imporant that the event can offer activities for less mobile residents. It has been a challenge within all the events to illustrate how they are open to all the public, not a closed group. This is something that should be considered when attracting the older residents. We need to ensure that this group feels included within the project, when the primary activity of gardening is less accessaible to them.


CHAPTER 4 - LEARNINGS 1.0 > IMPROVEMENT iii. Social Media Campaign

The Facebook group does not reflect the number of volunteers involved in the events. These members are from a small group who are part of the volunteer team, but many groups have not joined the social media platforms. Currently most of the content for the facebook group is gennerated to aid publicity for events. The facebook is a useful resource to promote the project, providing a platform to post images, propose ideas and raise concerns. As the orchard expands these informal conversations are key, as it becomes more challenging to host conversations within in emails. It is also unlikey that the facebook group could become self sustaining, once the funded support for the project has ended. The extended funding gives the opportunity to promote the group more widely, to generate greater sign up, more active members and wider future collaborators and supporters.

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Document by: public works Hester Buck Torange Khonsari

Butley Court Community Orchard Project 2017  

by Public Works in collaboration with Roman Road Trust and Clarion Housing.

Butley Court Community Orchard Project 2017  

by Public Works in collaboration with Roman Road Trust and Clarion Housing.

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