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TV’s Mark Lane helps turn Whitechapel wasteland into gardeners’ world for Core Landscapes project

PUBLISHED: 16:19 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:59 17 February 2018

TV's Mark Lane (front centre) and volunteers who have turned wasteland in Whitechapel into a community garden. Picture source: Core Arts

TV's Mark Lane (front centre) and volunteers who have turned wasteland in Whitechapel into a community garden. Picture source: Core Arts

Core Arts

Gardener’s World TV presenter Mark Lane is helping a new community garden project in Whitechapel used for health rehabilitation after his own recovery from a car smash.

Lush garden in Whitechapel that was once derelict wasteland. Picture source: Core ArtsLush garden in Whitechapel that was once derelict wasteland. Picture source: Core Arts

He is the new ‘champion’ for the Core Landscapes social enterprise project which has turned derelict wasteland in Turner Street, behind the Royal London Hospital, into a garden nursery.

The site was full of rubble and weeds, but volunteers have turned it into a lush garden with an orchard, pond, plant nursery and food growing area.

It is used to help improve mental and physical wellbeing through horticulture.

Mark himself has to use a wheelchair after his car crash. But the former Royal Institute of British Architects’ director retrained and set up a garden design business, then joined the Gardeners’ World programme.

Core Arts volunteer gets to grips with the new garden. Picture source: Core ArtsCore Arts volunteer gets to grips with the new garden. Picture source: Core Arts

“I am living proof of how the great outdoors and wildlife can change your life,” he said.

“My disability in a strange way has made me determined to promote the great outdoors to others.

“Using empty spaces improve our urban environment and creates a community where anyone can get their hands in the soil, hammer in some nails and be part of a remarkable cause.”

Core Landscapes is a social enterprise run by east London’s Core Arts mental health charity.

Core Landscapes' lush community garden project behind the Royal London Hospital. Picture source: Core ArtsCore Landscapes' lush community garden project behind the Royal London Hospital. Picture source: Core Arts

People who are referred to the project by health and social services learn about horticulture which helps improve their mental and physical health.

The project holds workshops and gardening sessions throughout the year at the Turner Street garden off Stepney Way, open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10-4pm.

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