Innovative King’s Cross Skip Garden moves to new home

Posted: Tuesday 16th August 2011

The unique Skip Garden at King’s Cross has moved to a new home where local young people, many of whom don’t have gardens of their own, will continue to produce their harvest of vegetables.

As progress is being made on the 67-acre development at King’s Cross, six moveable self-sustaining vegetable gardens were transported to a new, bigger location further north on the site to York Way.

The initiative consists of seven construction skips which have been transformed into mini gardens including an orchard, a wormery, a poly-tunnel skip, a herb skip and three crop-rotation skips. They are gardened by volunteers and young people from the local area – many of whom have no other opportunities to green their fingers.

The garden is a familiar part of the central London development. The skips have been located on the King’s Cross site next to St Pancras International since 2009 but were uniquely designed with the intention of moving them as and when needed.

Now that the area is coming forward for development, with two new office buildings, the skips have been moved to their new home – which will be just as accessible for the public to view the garden in all its glory. The new site also boasts teaching facilities in the form of an Enterprise Academy, where young people from the local area will be able to learn about the environment.

It took two tractors, each with a trailer for two skips, to take them in convoy through busy streets past St Pancras International and King’s Cross stations to their new location.

Here they will continue to be harvested for vegetables which then get sold by the young people to local restaurants and the canteen of the Guardian and Observer, which is also on York Way.

The innovative Skip Garden, which is run in partnership with the award-winning charity Global Generation, is now quite famous in the local area and beyond. It was open to the public for Open Garden weekend and was recently featured in Country Living Magazine. CBBC is also in the middle of making a documentary about it.

Global Generation – which is sponsored by King’s Cross and Guardian News & Media among others – strives to develop an understanding of the importance of the environment among the younger generation and promotes enterprise between young people and business.

The charity also runs a number of other initiatives including food growing spaces on top of office buildings, in schools and in community groups.

Kara Weekes, 15, who lives in King’s Cross and is a Young Generator involved in developing and maintaining the gardens, said:

“We want to help to make our world a better place and even in King’s Cross we have managed to create gardens with no pollution or artificial fertilisers.

“Our gardens have become landmarks for tourists, even though we have managed to create them from abandoned materials like skips, scaffolding, old water pipes and bread trays.

“It’s an honour to be part of this and to be doing good for the planet and the community.”

Chris Plume, from King’s Cross, said:

“The Skip Garden has attracted a lot of attention during its time at King’s Cross and we expect even more visitors now it has moved to a bigger site with improved facilities.

“We welcome the Skip Garden initiative and the opportunities that it creates for young people in the area and we are glad that it can carry on benefiting the surrounding communities.

“We are delighted with how this innovative project has grown and we look forward to more success and great harvests in the future.”

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