South London oasis helps urban flat-dwellers go green
An urban ‘oasis’ created from a World War Two bomb site will be able to help more south Londoners get their hands in the soil, thanks to new funding.
Vauxhall City Farm will run workshops for adults and schoolchildren teaching them about where their food comes from and giving them hands-on experience of growing their own crops.
It will also offer after-school clubs and a summer holiday programme where children can enjoy a healthy meal and learn about topics such as sustainability, composting and animal welfare.
The work is being funded through a £95,000 grant from City Bridge Foundation, London’s biggest independent charity funder.
City Bridge Foundation Chairman Giles Shilson said: “As one of the pioneers in the city farms movement of the 1970s, Vauxhall City Farm has over 40 years’ experience of helping urban dwellers get in contact with nature.
“This funding will enable them to help even more adults and children learn about biodiversity, grow and eat their own food and meet new people, with all the physical and mental health benefits that brings.”
The farm, one of the first of its kind in London, opened its doors for the first time in 1977 with ‘a few vegetable plants and a couple of goats’, according to Chief Executive Monica Tyler, five years at the helm.
Vauxhall City Farm Chief Executive Monica Tyler said: “We’re in a very urban area where most people live in flats, and everyone who comes here says how great it is to find a green oasis like this right in the middle of a city.
“A lot of the kids around here think tomatoes come from Tesco’s. When they come to the farm, they learn about where their food comes from, grow their own stuff and develop lots of new skills.
“Coming here improves people’s health and wellbeing because they learn about healthy eating, but there’s also a therapeutic benefit from being in nature and around animals.”
Vauxhall City Farm, in Tyers Street, is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.30am to 4pm. More information is at www.vauxhallcityfarm.org