How We Started
Over the past six years, Energy Garden has grown from small plantings along transport lines to 30 completed community gardens on Overground stations across London, with 10 more to come this year.
Energy Garden began in 2011 with Agamemnon Otero’s work in community gardening and energy projects in impoverished communities across London. The idea was developed from his work founding the Edible Bus Stop, the Edible Overground, Brixton Energy and Repowering. In 2014, two months after putting the idea forward, he was awarded London Leader by the London Sustainable Development Commission for his work at Brondesbury Park, the first Energy Garden.
In 2015, Energy Garden won £750,000 from Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund to extend the project over the entire London Overground network. The development support came from community energy expert Repowering and Groundwork London to deliver community gardens and create a legacy fund for the gardens by owning and managing renewable energy assets. This funding ensures that Energy Garden Community Benefit Society will go on to support the gardens over the next 20 years with volunteer coordinators, seeds, tools, and more, leaving a lasting legacy.
Energy Garden formally launched at City Hall on May 1st, 2015, inviting the public to nominate their stations and take an active part in greening London’s Overground with 40 urban community gardens, as well as low carbon and renewable energy systems. The programme was set to work across London’s schools, youth groups, and communities, delivering accredited and paid education and training programmes. The project also supports urban biodiversity and improves air quality, with a legacy fund to continue greening London for the next 20 years.Energy Garden registered as a Community Benefit Society in 2016.
As of April 2018, 67 community groups, 37 schools and 14 trained youth have helped to install 30 gardens have been built at stations in every corner of London. By March 2019 we will have completed 40 gardens and raised sufficient funds through our community benefit society to sustain this programme for the next 20 years.