Its May, and whilst the black earth is still dominating the scene, things are beginning to shape up at Cross Green ‘Growing Together ‘ allotment in south Leeds.
Cross Green Community Group launched the ‘Growing Together’ allotment project at the start of 2015 in partnership with Hyde Park Source, a Leeds based charity helping people improve well being by improving the environment. It was an ambitious project to transform a sizeable piece of land alongside the railway from a derelict eyesore into a productive growing space. It was, though, the follow on to a successful pilot the previous year of creating a growing space on an unused bridge. The area of Cross Green is one of the most deprived in Leeds with many people living alone, so, when added to the poor transport links into the city, it experiences a high level of social isolation. At its heart, the ‘Growing Together’ project sought to alleviate some of this loneliness and its impact.
When I had last visited a month of digging and shovelling had had little visible impact!! The site looked worse in many ways than when it started with black earth mixed with the dug up detritus of years of neglect. Another month on though and things were starting to definitely take shape. A large polytunnel was in place and the raised planting beds were starting to emerge from the landscape. Not time to celebrate – nor time to stop digging! – but things were moving, particularly with a big mechanised helping hand from Keepmoat, the construction company carrying out group repairs on most of the houses in Cross Green. There was even time to do some planting up on the original bridge site! A truly inspiring story about the resilience and community spirit in Leeds was now beginning to emerge. Watch this space as the site starts to explode with green!
[Double clicking on any of the images below will open up that image up in a slideshow format. You can then run the slide show using ‘left’ and ‘right’ buttons. Personally I prefer to go also to full screen having opened the slide show – F11 on my PC, don’t forget to get out of full screen is the same button , not ESC
For more on Cross Green ‘Growing Together’ see my first post and second post from there, also there is a News and Views article on the an exhibition of work from the full 2015 year held in this April in the local church of St Hilda’s.