The Skip Garden, the much-loved urban oasis, is on the move – setting up a brand-new home behind the British Library.
The community garden and cafe has been based at King’s Cross for over ten years, moving to four different plots across the site, as the area has been transformed into a thriving neighbourhood.
The project, now open at British Library, is run by Global Generation – a charity which works with local children, young people, businesses, residents and families to create healthy, integrated and environmentally responsible communities.
The new temporary community garden, The Story Garden, will open on the land to the north of the British Library’s building and in the heart of the Somers Town community. The space includes an orchard and small oak forest, a kitchen for educational and community cooking and eating, supported community growing beds, an upcoming straw bale roundhouse and a MAKE space in partnership with UAL Central St Martins and Somers Town Community Association.
The garden, which started its life at King’s Cross in 2009, as a moveable vegetable garden in skips, has flourished into a sustainable urban garden oasis, built in an innovative partnership with students from the Bartlett School of Architecture, complete with wild flowers, vegetables, herbs and beehives, as well as educational workspaces and a full independent café, Skip Garden Kitchen.
Global Generation will run the new venture, in collaboration with the British Library and Stanhope, continuing its work to nurture the physical and mental wellbeing of children, young people and adults living in urban environments.
The garden is set be located at the British Library until at least the end of 2020, with the aspiration for Global Generation to return to the 67-acre King’s Cross development, in a permanent location in 2022. In the meantime, Global Generation will continue to have a presence on the King’s Cross development, running workshops and events for the local community, with the ambition to have a permanent community hub on the site.
Nicole Van den Eijnde, Director at Global Generation, commented: “We love that the Skip Garden has taken so many forms over the years, growing and changing with each iteration creating new opportunities to involve the local community in reclaiming a piece of land to connect to nature in the middle of the city. We want to thank the team developing King’s Cross, for providing the space and support needed to help us grow and flourish. We welcome a new and exciting opportunity at the British Library, in the form of The Story Garden and look forward to continuing our work at King’s Cross.”
Angela Jewell, Community Engagement Manager, KCCLP, added: “While it will be a sad moment to see the Skip Garden leave site, it has been a pleasure to work with them so closely for the last 10 years, and to be able to assist them in finding a new home at the British Library, ensuring they continue their valuable work in the local area. We look forward to welcoming them back to King’s Cross in the future and continuing to work with them.”
The Skip Garden and Skip Garden Kitchen, based at Tapper Walk, will close their doors on Saturday 26 October, with The Story Garden, based at British Library already open, operating Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-5pm.
The indoor workshop and meeting spaces are due for completion by the end of the year and will be open for daytime bookings from February 2020.