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belsize park

The Premier Inn Food Growing Plot

Section 1 - Findability
Related Transition Stage: 
Geographic region : 
London
England
United Kingdom
Section 2 - People and Contacts
Primary point of contact: 
Section 3 - About the Project
Description: 

Aims:

To create a food growing site and inspire people to learn about growing food.

Inspiration:

A sense that there was useable space in the hotel car park.

Seeing pallet beds being made on a YouTube video.

Outcomes so far:

A group of local residents who come together every Friday afternoon to work on the site.

Increased interest in sustainability issues by the hotel.

Visibility in the community and serendipitous conversations with passersby and hotel guests.

Unexpected outcomes:

Very strong bonding of the group members

Ease of making pallet beds once we stepped back from the Boys Own ‘saw up the wood and bang in the nails’ mentality

Constant supply of greens, salad and herbs for group members

Obstacles, and how we overcame them:

Getting permission: asked hotel managers one after another for about a year until one said “yes”.

Water: installed guttering along a wall and water butts.

Lessons learned:

Visibility is better than hideaway events if you want to reach more of the community.

Although the hotel staff have shown interest, they haven’t broken out of their silos to join in, which may require a senior manager to give the green light for staff participation.

Sources of funding:

Thornton's Budgen's Pennies for Plastic Fund

Further information:

Last year the Transition Belsize Food Growing group installed raised beds made from old pallets in the corner of the Premier Inn Hotel car park on Ornan Road (see photos). The site was and is a huge success. A group of local residents maintain it and harvest food from it. Hotel staff are very proud of it. Hotel guests and passersby visit it. Rainwater is collected from a nearby wall to water it. Food waste is recycled through two wormeries and returned to the site as compost. It’s wonderful example of both Transition and permaculture in practice.

Last year the Transition Belsize Food Growing group installed raised beds made from old pallets in the corner of the Premier Inn Hotel car park on Ornan Road (see photos). The site was and is a huge success. A group of local residents maintain it and harvest food from it. Hotel staff are very proud of it. Hotel guests and passersby visit it.

Section 4 - Further details

Midsummer Night Tales, Black Silky Knickers and a Black Eye

Twas Midsummer’s Eve and WynnAlice took to the road to collect tales in the great city of London. Twas a short walk... to the train station, and perhaps therein lies the lesson. For a Storyweaver is born to walk, not to ride...

Oak before Ash and We're in for a Splash (Day 44) May 11th

 


Hannah and I set out from Belsize Park and head out across Hampstead Heath. Overall, I decide I rather like NW London; it is people sized for the most part, its villageness still distinct in many places. I am about to be very impressed with Hampstead village and turn back to wish it a fond farewell only to be taken aback by the sight of the massive building that is the Royal Free Hospital that forms its back drop.

Scenes from London (Days 42-43) May 9th-10th

For the first time in my life I spend a couple of days in London without feeling desperate to get out. Of course I am well aware this has probably a lot to do with the fact that I know I am moving on; that I am mistress of my own destiny, totally in command of where I go, when, and how. It is liberating. I wonder if I will struggle to go places with anyone else after having experienced such freedom of being.

Through The Place They Call London with Joy in My Heart (Day 41) May 8th

Over breakfast Lucy shares two things with me; her own tale of a transitional walk she did that brings tears to both our eyes, and a poem which tells of choosing to walk with joy in the heart and crossing stiles easily. I leave the bottle of organic wine called Stephanie with her.


Then we walk to Tooting High Road. I am fascinated by this name; I only ever thought of High Road in connection to the old song

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