Since April we have been part of the Covid-19 emergency response providing cooked meals for distribution in the local area. This service has been complimented by our own food growing activity where fresh, healthy and culturally appropriate produce is being grown and distributed in the local area to schools food parcel programmes, youth clubs and food hubs, as well as into our meal service. We also want to empower people to grow some of their own food – it not only means you can pick your own super fresh food but also helps you feel more connected to nature and the seasons, and learn new skills, which has a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.
Recently, we received funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to continue building on our emergency food provision and strengthening our community links using food as the connector, offering plants and growing support to other community groups and individual residents.
Our project aims to:
Grow food and plants to support communities likely to food insecurity as a direct result of COVID-19.
Provide training and skills development in food growing that empower local people and improve health and wellbeing.
Develop a community food hub that supports local food enterprise, scaling up of local food production, and uses food as a connecting tool to help rebuild and support community resilience during the Covid-19 emergency.
About The National Lottery Community Fund
We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.
We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.
The Wolves Lane Consortium is in the process of developing the Wolves Lane Garden and Horticultural Centre into a community hub.
Our vision for Wolves Lane is a thriving centre for growing and distributing wholesome food and a space for the local food economy to develop through education, enterprise, and events, making good food accessible to all and building a healthier, more sustainable food culture in the area.
We will be developing the Wolves Lane site into a community hub that facilitates and serves the local community of Wood Green and the wider community of London. New buildings and landscapes are being proposed to allow the Wolves Lane Consortium to grow: to better facilitate community use, food production, and education. They include a community hall, classrooms, office space, storage, and a workshop, as well as a forest classroom, a working yard, well-being and edible planting, outdoor space for events, and new entrance canopies. The existing buildings will be refurbished, with solar panels and rainwater collection extended, and a production kitchen.
Do you have any further questions? Please join us on Thursday 20th August @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm for an online Q&A with the Paloma Gormley, Practice Architecture, and Pedro Gill, Studio Gil the architects leading on the redesign of the Wolves Lane Garden and Horticultural Centre. Register via Eventbrite
Projects Coordinator, Site Maintenance Coordinator, Apprentice Growers
With a funding award from the National Lottery, we are now looking for a Projects Coordinator and a Site Maintenance Coordinator to support the development of the site and its activities, the first role holding an overview of the various projects taking place, and the second managing maintenance of all aspects of site infrastructure. The roles require different skills but both need someone who is passionate about creating inclusive community spaces and can work collaboratively in diverse communities. We are also looking for two Apprentice Growers – an exciting opportunity to professionalise your growing skills and gain paid experience in food production at market garden scale.
Dowload the full details and how to apply for each role:
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
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.
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!
In July this year the Wolves Lane Centre community celebrated the installation of solar panels.
20th July this summer, site users and volunteers at Wolves
Lane held a celebration of their newly installed solar panels. This
was the culmination of a huge effort to raise the funds and install
the panels to make the Wolves Lane site more sustainable. Local food
growing and energy generation will play an important part in our move
to a low carbon future.
panels will generate electricity for use on site. It is a 12.4
kiloWatt hour peak system and since installation has generated 5.27
megaWatt hours and saved just over 2,000 kilogrammes of carbon
emissions (equivalent to planting 7 trees). Most of the electricity
will be used in the Palm House, where water pumps use a lot of
energy. The installation work was carried out for free by a local
resident who runs solar installation company Drakes Renewables.
There are 31 panels on two roofs and it is an innovative installation
using 400 W panels imported from Canada.
money for the panels was raised through a crowdfund run by Spacehive
for the Mayor of London’s office. The panels were paid for by
local residents (including members of the Friends of Wolves Lane) and
local rap artist Jhus. Generous donations from the Mayor of London
and Haringey Council will add to the project by paying for insulation
materials and fees for legal and electrical work.
Wolves Lane Plant Centre https://wolveslane.org/, was formerly the plant nursery for Haringey Council. The site is still owned by Haringey Council and is leased to the Wolves Lane Consortium (Organiclea, Crop Drop and the Ubele Initiative) and is growing a huge harvest of local food that supports a local veg bag scheme (Crop Drop, https://www.cropdrop.co.uk/), a London restaurant (Ottolenghi), food for homeless people (Edible London, https://ediblelondon.weebly.com/ ) and Black Rootz . Local not-for-profit Wolves Lane Flower Company also rent space onsite (https://www.wolveslaneflowercompany.com/ ).