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Acton Green Community Herb Garden was the idea of resident and parent Anna Marie Yassin. It was funded by the council’s Southfield ward forum and built by volunteers.
It comes in the form of two raised beds, and has been built on the north-east boundary of the children’s playground on Acton Green. It only needs low levels of maintenance and adds to the play area by giving children an opportunity to learn about food growing – and encouraging residents to come together. Anna said: “Already there is a growing community of locals who maintain the beds who had not known each other previously. Bees and butterflies are spotted regularly, as are parents introducing children to edible flowers.”
Prior to moving to Chiswick, Anna lived in Hackney and was a plot holder at an award-winning, resident-led community garden project called Growing Kitchen which transformed a disused site into a shared edible garden.
“It was a wonderful example of community integration,” said Anna. “It also educated people about environmental sustainability, food growing and healthy eating, all issues that I am passionate about. The herb garden is a scaled down version. It is a small part of a larger movement promoting urban food growing.”
Apart from the funding received from the ward forum, the project was also supported and advised by local groups: Acton Green Residents’ Association, Abundance London and Ealing Transition. And social enterprise Cultivate London built the raised beds – providing landscape gardener Auberon and an apprentice to do the work. Cultivate London helps with training opportunities and jobs for unemployed young people aged 16-24 in practical horticulture and landscaping.