Streatham Common Community Garden is a historic walled garden situated within the Rookery public garden. Formally a kitchen garden of the Rookery (the last manor house that stood at the top of the hill, built in 1786), the site of garden was also used a Council nursery, supplying plants for parks and green spaces across Lambeth, before falling in to a state of neglect.
The garden was set up following a public meeting by the Friends of StreathamCommon and Transition Streatham in October 2010, to discuss the possibility of establishing a community garden on the Common. This took place at a time when there was growing interest in local growing schemes and particularly community gardening in the area. As a result of the public meeting, a Steering Group was formed to take the proposal forward. This later became a Committee that negotiated a seven year tenancy agreement with the Council to use part of the old plant nursery as a community gardening and food growing scheme.
We got the keys in June 2011 and, since we started work on site in September 2011, approximately 50% of the old nursery has been managed and maintained by the project, bringing it back into productive use as a viable growing space continuing a history of gardening on the site going back at least 230 years. Already hundreds of hours of volunteer time have been contributed to restore this very special garden back to its former glory.
Since opening to the public we have secured funding from local and national grant-giving bodies including the Mayor’s Outer London Fund via Streatham Action for the creation of a Heritage Fruit Garden, Awards for All and the Western Riverside Project for improvements to the pathways, and the Heritage Lottery Fund for a series of workshops inspired by the history of the site. In 2013, we became a Registered Charity and also launched a membership scheme.