Twenty derelict sites in London to get £200,000 in green space plan

Defra awards start-up grants to help transform land into community gardens and green spaces.

Twenty derelict areas of land across London are going to be transformed into community gardens and local green spaces after receiving funding through a £200,000 start-up grant from Defra.

The Transform Project, which is being co-ordinated by Groundwork London, is one of three schemes to benefit from a £800,000 drive to ensure the London 2012 Olympic Games leave a "greenprint" for sustainable living in the capital.

Groundwork London will use the £200,000 grant to create 20 green spaces across the city. The finished projects aim to improve recycling rates and encourage people to participate in more environmental volunteering projects in the city. It is hoped they will also help persuade people of the benefits of more sustainable lifestyles.

Announcing the plans earlier this week, environment secretary Caroline Spelman said: "London 2012 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to inspire genuine change and provide a model of how living sustainably can be incorporated into whole communities as we build a green economy. These projects will contribute by making a practical difference in the community and leave a lasting green legacy."

Commenting on the Transform Project, Groundwork London communities and local partnerships director Ben Coles said: "At Groundwork London we have been passionate about outdoor space for three decades.

"As a key part of the London 2012 Changing Places programme we are delighted to be teaming up with London Sustainability Exchange to work across the host boroughs to transform derelict spaces into well-used and valued community spaces as part of the London 2012 legacy."

He added: "We are excited about the range of environmental volunteering opportunities this programme creates, and that people involved in the Transform Project will be truly empowered to lead more sustainable lifestyles and change their behaviour to reduce their environmental impact."

OTHER PROJECTS BENEFITTING FROM POUNDS 200,000 DEFRA GRANTS

- One Planet Experience

Co-ordinated by BioRegional - 2,012 role models, including Olympians and Paralympians, will be recruited to act as "community leaders for sustainability".

- The Inspired to Sustainable Living project

Co-ordinated by East Potential - social-housing tenants will be provided with advice on recycling, with the aim of developing a better understanding of nutrition among disadvantaged young people.

- Active Travel Champions project

Co-ordinated by Sustrans - volunteers will be given training to encourage communities to make healthier and more environmentally-friendly transport choices.


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