Selby Estate gardeners recognised at City of London awards ceremony

Members of the Selby Estate Gardening Club

Members of the Selby Estate Gardening Club - Credit: Archant

Gardeners on an allotment have been given an award after helping an estate overcome problems with drugs, prostitution and anti-social behaviour.

Patches of green on Bethnal Green’s Selby Estate have been utilised by a gardening club run in conjunction with a team from nearby Spitalfields City Farm.

The club has now been given an award from the City of London Corporation’s charity the City Bridge Trust for “empowering residents” and helping teach horticultural skills and produce their own fruit and veg.

Spitalfields City Farm’s Katherine Jackson, who has helped oversee the project, said: “The magical thing about community gardening is that it cuts across all barriers such as age, race and religion whilst also providing healthy cheap food and regular exercise in the fresh air.

“In just one short growing season the Selby Gardening Club has demonstrated all of this whilst also making the estate more attractive for residents and wildlife too”, he added.

A judging panel gave the project the ‘Growing Localities Award’ at a ceremony at the Barbican Centre in central London in recognition of its role in helping relieve problems of crime and anti-social behaviour on the estate.

Billy Dove, who is chairman of the City Bridge Trust which runs the award, said: “The fact that some residents on the Selby Estate who had lived there for 15 years met their neighbours for the first time as part of the gardening club is a testament to the power of this project.

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“We are honoured to give this award to the Spitalfields City Farm and the Selby Estate residents who made it all happen”, he added.