Energy Gardens created at Overground stations

Commuters across the capital will soon be harvesting vegetables and sniffing flowers while they wait for Overground trains thanks to the Energy Garden project, a partnership between Repowering London, Groundwork London and Transport for London.

Station makeovers: creating gardens and growing areas - image: Groundwork
Station makeovers: creating gardens and growing areas - image: Groundwork

Thanks to a £750,000 People's Postcode Lottery grant, passengers, staff and communities along the London Overground network are being invited to nominate stations for a makeover. Gardens and growing spaces will be created in and around 50 stations over the next two years.

Repowering London chief executive and Energy Garden founder Agamemnon Otero explained: "Energy Garden will engage local communities in reclaiming spaces within London Overground stations and create highly visible, accessible growing hubs that will involve people of all ages in the cultivation and maintenance of plants, medicinal herbs, vegetables and even hops."

Solar panels will provide energy and create financial support for the spaces to be sustainable for 20 years, he added. They will also showcase lighting, water pumps or other small-scale amenities. Groundwork and Repowering London will deliver workshops with local schools on topics including renewable energy, urban food growing and rail safety.

Acton Central, Brondesbury Park, Hampstead Heath and Dalston Kingsland were the first four Overground stations to receive makeovers. Groundwork's Ben Cole said feedback on the first day was "unbelievable" and some passengers stopped to join in the gardening.

Once the project is well underway, gardening days will be advertised where people can meet at a station and commute together to carry out hop-on, hop-off garden maintenance. The arrays are to be funded through a community share offer through the expertise of Repowering London.

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