Perfect growing weather as the Robin Hood Community Garden is launched by the River Lea

Not even heavy rainstorms managed to dampen the enthusiasm of a group of local revellers on the launch day of the Robin Hood Community Garden.

The garden at the bottom of Big Hill, next to the River Lea, has been in development since last April, when clearance of the derelict site began.

The event on Sunday July 17 celebrated the transformation of the space, realised through the hard work and dedication of a group of local people keen to see the site brought back into use.

They designed, built, dug and planted - and now the site is a beautiful sanctuary of wildlife areas and meadows, with an orchard and raised beds brimming with vegetables and herbs.

Over 100 people who turned out to its launch were treated to a packed afternoon of entertainment - including an all-girl ukulele punk band the pUKES, the story of the garden in photos, and samples of honey and news of sustainable beekeeping from a local beekeeper.

Refreshments came in the form of mint and lemon balm tea picked from the garden and homemade elderflower champagne.

Volunteer Katherine Jackson said: “We are telling the public to come and get vegetables and herbs they need for their dinner, herbs thrive better when they’re cut frequently.

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“We’re just asking people to respect it and look after it - I just can’t even begin to calculate the volunteer hours that have gone into creating the garden.”

The Robin Hood Community Garden User Group will shortly open its gates to the public and the garden will host a series of workshops and talks for all ages until September, on themes from art to ecology.

Everyone is invited to join in on group gardening days on Thursdays and Sundays, from 10am to 1pm. For more information visit