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An award-winning
upcycled community space
for growing and connecting

Proudly created by the Forest Gate community in partnership with the London Borough of Newham, Swan Housing Association and Little Diamonds nursery, and funded by the Mayor of London and Thames Water.

Reclaiming public space

The UP Garden is a formerly abandoned laundry yard in an East London council estate, reclaimed by local residents to create a free-to-access community space. It is a place for inter-generational socialisation, where everyone can learn about gardening, biodiversity and eco-sustainability.

View a video tour here.

The UP Garden's transformation was funded by the GLA, the London Borough of Newham and Swan Housing Association, and created by the local community who donated and upcycled furniture and materials. It is now looked after by a small Committee of local resident volunteers. Within a year of launch, the RHS and the BBC crowned it the inaugural winner of their Growing Together award for community gardening. 

Find out more about how The UP Garden came about, and our journey from creation to launch.

planter containing plants, garden tools and gloves

Gardening

To avoid visitors adding new plants that are unsuitable for the location, or accidentally undoing gardening by other visitors, we host community gardening sessions every Wednesday (see Events) for the public to help us with tending and weeding. However, anyone is welcome to water our plants if they look thirsty!

We also have micro-allotment planters, which The UP Garden built for the surrounding estate residents without gardens of their own. If you would like to join the waitlist, apply here.

turf with tree slices and decking planks

Playing

To encourage creative open-ended play, there are colourful tyres, tree slices, decking planks and wooden blocks at the side of our wildflower play turf, as well as a digging corner with mud kitchen items.

 

Although the gravel drains are not for play, we've discovered they are irresistible to little ones! There is a crate of colourful pots to aid with play, and a mini broom so they can put the gravel back afterwards: encourage, rather than admonish!

benches and planter with covered pergola in the background

Socialising

The UP Garden has a variety of seating whether you want to sit alone or with others. Several have backs and arms to aid feeding parents and those with mobility issues, and there are low chairs and benches for our mini visitors too.

Come have a picnic! There are uncovered picnic benches, as well as some tables under our covered pergola. We also have a fußball table and a chessboard - bring your own pieces, or a different game entirely!

volunteers building planters

Educating

Through creating the The UP Garden, we ran various workshops including on how to build planters and spring-bulb planting. We have more workshops planned!

 

We also host regular nature and sustainable themed activity sessions to encourage young families to visit us and suggest easy ideas that can be replicated at home.

Keep checking our Events for future workshops.

wheelchair accessible planters

Accessibility

There are planters at standing and seated height, and chairs with backs that are light to move around, as well as low-level planters for little ones.

 

We also have planters with wheelchair access, with baskets for storing items temporarily to reduce to-ing and fro-ing.

 

The turf has a grid pathway so that wheelchair users can reach our main water butt and public garden tools.

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Safety

At our entrance, there is a list of rules that should keep our visitors safe - please check them out!

 

In particular, please note that unfortunately we cannot have open fires at The UP Gardenthere is a first aid kit and accident reporting book in the pink shed, and there are no toilet facilities. Wild Goose Bakery (1 minute walk) has a toilet for its customers, and The Holly Tree (5 minute walk) is a member of the community toilet scheme.

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Events

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Other events

To hear about new events first, join our General Mailing List.

We sometimes host ad hoc sessions to introduce new features to The UP Garden. Find out more through our Volunteers Mailing List.

When we don't have events on, you can still come and hang out in The UP Garden every day! See opening times and location.

 

The UP Garden is also on the GLA’s East London nature trail - check it out, or any of these other amazing green spaces in Newham on this map produced by Growsie:

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everyone is welcome   সবাইকে স্বাগতম  ہر ایک کا خیرمقدم ہے  બધાનું સ્વાગત છે   visi laukiami  அனைவரையும் வரவேற்கிறோம் 

wszyscy są mile widziani          ਹਰ ਕਿਸੇ ਦਾ ਸੁਆਗਤ ਹੈ          toată lumea este binevenită         todos são bem-vindos

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News

Scroll from the bottom and click on each image to read our story so far...

The UP Garden has featured in the following press!

E7 Now & Then Mar 2024  |  Newham Voices Dec 2023  |  BBC Gardeners' Question Time Nov 2023  |  The RHS Community Gardening Oct 2023  |  The RHS Oct 2023  |  The ONE Show Oct 2023  |  SpareRoom blog Oct 2023  |  ELC blog Sep 2023  |  Doing R Bit Jul 2023  |  Marfs Kitchen Garden Apr 2023  |  The Modern House Feb 2023  |  The Forest Dec 2022  |  Forest Gate North ward report Nov 2022  |  The Forest Aug 2022

Press

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Volunteers run this account so please be patient for our reply.

Find The UP Garden

We aim to be open from 9:00-ish until around 6pm or sunset (whichever is earlier but closing no earlier than 4pm during Daylight Savings Time) every day, but times might change as we rely on local resident volunteers to open and close The UP Garden. We try to give advance notice of any substantial changes to opening times on social media.

Eric Close laundry yard, Forest Gate, London, E7 0AY

(Entrance is between 1-4 and 5-10 Eric Close. If using satnav, best address is the cul-de-sac on Eric Road, E7 0AZ.)

We are not affiliated to the Forest Gate Community Garden but you can find out more about their lovely space here!

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