Fabulous Funding News

In March we nervously awaited the outcome of a major piece of work undertaken by the Wolves Lane Consortium, a bid to the GLA’s Good Growth Fund.

Organiclea have been awarded £1.2 million from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund that will see our vision of a “Market Garden City” come to life.

The funding will be divided between Organiclea’s Chingford site and the Wolves Lane Centre to create new facilities that will support both sites to thrive as vital pieces of community infrastructure in London. The project will renew the dilapidated facilities and develop a thriving community hub for sustainable food growing, food distribution, healthy eating and cooking, and nature connection through volunteering, training, employment and enterprise.

Architects Pedro Gil and Paloma Gormley have been working closely with us on our plans for the new facilities, which will provide a crucial example of low-impact construction techniques and materials that can be delivered at scale, which the construction industry urgently needs to adapt to in the face of the climate emergency.

We’re excited to set a powerful precedent for the integration of community and green space in London, starting in Waltham Forest and Haringey. Watch this space as we share our plans as they take shape through the coming year.

Will will be carrying out more consultation on this stage of the development over the summer months. For now you can read details of the funding and plans here

Planting through a Pandemic: how COVID-19 affected Wolves Lane and what’s happening on site

growing cooking

Since March when the lock down started horticultural workers were identified as key workers. To ensure growers could focus on growing during the important spring season we introduced new site protocols to keep them safe. Sadly this has meant access to the site is restricted and our regular volunteering programme and access by the public suspended. The lockdown has created lots of challenges for our growers with plans overturned and big changes in demand as well as seeing those most in need in our local communities struggling under the lock down. The growers and groups at Wolves Lane have risen to the challenges and we are really proud to see such quick creative responses.
Here’s a summary  ……….

  • Cooked meals for local people in need – In April we recruited a small volunteer team including two local chefs to make good use of the kitchen at Wolves Lane to cook and distribute cooked meals each week
  • Standing up for BAME communities – Ubele, have been doing some amazing work leading a petition and coalition demanding an independent public inquiry into the disproportionately high coronavirus death rates in BAME communities. Read this Guardian article about it
  • Blackrootz have extended their growing on site and along with other growers are working on plans to grow emergency crops to feed local people in need
  • Crop Drop have adapted quickly to meet a surge of new customers desperate for fresh fruit and veg at the same time losing a lot of their drop points
  • Edible London geared up quickly to distribute emergency food in the borough, soon outgrowing Wolves Lane. They have partnered with Haringey Council to distrubute food via the Haringey Food Hubs in Tootenham stadium and Alexandra Palace
  • The Flower Company facing cancelled summer events and with a large crop of flowers growing, started selling and delivering locally including supplying the big demand from local florists who struggled to find stock
  • And to meet the surge in demand for plants and help raise money to maintain the site we are starting to sell some plants grown on site.

COVID-19 Meal Project

emergency food project

After lockdown happened, we adapted our community kitchen project to respond to Haringey’s emergency food response. Crop Drop has been collaborating with the Wolves Lane Centre to run a COVID Meal Project.

We’re cooking up nutritious meals and donating them to a local partners who are distributing the food to people that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

We’ve assembled a small team of local volunteer chefs and food preppers who give up 1 day a week and produce 100+ meals each week for distribution by Homes for Haringey and the Tottenham Stadium Food Hub to people that need it the most, such as the elderly, women’s refuges and families unable to cope with the financial strain of this lockdown. Surplus food from The Felix Project plus organic produce grown on site at Wolves Lane is being transformed into satisfying meals.

Crop Drop customers have contributed over £400 in donations to help us pay for the additional costs of equipment and ingredients. We’re hoping to keep this going for a while – this unprecedented need for food is not going to disappear overnight even when the ‘lockdown’ is fully lifted. Wolves Lane Horticultural Centre would like to carry on growing and cooking food to help those in our local community experiencing difficulties during these times. We’re launching a crowd fund soon so watch this space!