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Holloway Neighbourhood Group
The Legacy - the Forest Orchard Garden

Winner of London in Bloom 2012 - It's your Neighbourhood Awards Level 4 - 'Thriving' and Islington in Bloom 2012 Community Garden Award Gold

HNG Legacy Garden

Holloway Neighbourhood Group  (HNG) is a thriving multi-purpose community centre in the heart of Holloway used by many different groups from the surrounding community. The Elders Group at HNG (The Old Firestation) were deeply engaged in the consultations that informed the design of the Wild Places project telling us that they wanted opportunities to access local green space and learn more about their environment. Since its start, they have been some of the most enthusiastic participants in Wild Places.

Click here to watch a Film in a Day with Wild Places

HNG Elders

'I've learned about places within a few miles of where I have lived most of my life, that I didn't know: little things like geography things, history things. I've learned much more about plants.'

'The trips are really good ... getting out, looking around at all the different birds and flowers. It's helped me look at things. I like to see things around where I walk, I take notice of gardens more now, or I go along by the canal and see the birds and all kinds of things.'

'The thing is if you go on the walk in the first place you know where to go next time, you can go back later and do it at your own pace.'

The success of the elders programme at the Old Fire Station has led us to develop a similar programme for elders at the Whittington Park Community Centre, which demonstrates the importance of our collaborative approach to delivering the project.

At HNG, a barren courtyard at the back of the centre has been turned into a Forest Orchard Garden planted with a wide variety of fruit and berry bearing trees, plants and shrubs including apples, blackberries, a blueberries and  kiwi fruit . There are lots of herbs in the garden as well as flowers to attract pollinating insects.

Over the past year, the garden has been turned into an outdoor classroom. Many different groups have used the space, including a regular Nature Drawing class that draws the flowers and plants in the garden. Recently, the Forest Orchard idea has been extended to the planting beds at the front of the centre where more fruit trees have been planted as well as lots of beautiful flowers and vegetables. The Elders enjoy a fortnightly Growing Group which offers workshops about wildlife and how to encourage it into your garden as well as growing a wide variety of vegetables which are used for the Elders lunches.

Since February 2012 we have been running an After School Club in partnership with nearby Pakeman Primary School, for children aged 6-11 years old. The children have used the garden as a learning space, sowing a cornfield meadow to attract bees and butterflies, observing and learning about the wildlife that now comes into the garden, and growing flowers and vegetables.

Hng Pakeman School Trip

The Centre Manager has commented on the legacy garden -

The garden is an eye-catching, engaging and highly attractive legacy project. It helps the profile of the centre - people stop and look at the garden, passers by make comments when we're out watering, some of the neighbours have said what a good impression it makes of the street.

The courtyard is used far more than it used to be - people eat lunch in it, have meetings outside, enjoy the sun and the plants and we've used the fruit and veg in the kitchen for the elders lunches'.

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Holloway Neighbourhood Group

www.hng.org.uk

The Old Firestation
84 Mayton Street
London N7 6QT

(see map)Grass and Flowers right