Growing food locally has many benefits, including fresh air, socialising and exercise for the participants, fresher food that is more nutritious, reduced carbon emissions, income generation opportunities, and the development of skills that can lead to employment in horticulture and catering.

Group of volunteers in an allotment

Habitats & Heritage supports new and existing food growing projects and works with a variety of local partners, including Richmond Council, housing associations, schools and local organisations to set up more food growing projects in the area. We help and advise on issues such as fundraising, accessing materials, what to grow and setting up constitutions and governance structures.

Our work has included:
  • Community market garden at Marble Hill House – Jam Yesterday Jam Tomorrow was a National Lottery Heritage funded project that uncovered the rich and varied Market Garden and Nursery Land history of Twickenham, Hampton and Hounslow in the 19th and 20th centuries.We built a model market garden in Marble Hill to restore traditional methods of growing and lost heritage varieties of fruit and vegetables and provide opportunities for local residents to gain new skills and create a sustainable interest in heritage horticulture.
  • Capital Growth – we were appointed the Capital Growth Local Lead organisation for the London Borough of Richmond and visited over 30 food growing projects in the area to offer support. We continue to work with the Capital Growth team and partners around London to promote local food growing.
  • Strawberry Hill House – we worked with the Strawberry Hill community gardening team to set up, publicise and fund courses and training events for teachers and community gardeners.