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Beckenham Place Park Supporting the Local Community (Lewisham Community Garden Series Part 3)

By Josey Crane Burrows (Good Food Lewisham volunteer)

Even in the rain, the Beckenham Place Park (BPP) Community Garden feels like a special place. The 30 or so volunteers who help out each week meet at the restored Gardener’s Cottage (pictured above) - a warm and cosy place to take shelter, especially on a rainy day.

I met James Allen, Beckenham Place Park’s Ranger and some of the regular volunteers. James tells me that they grow a variety of fruit and veg throughout the year including pears, rhubarb, beetroot, courgettes, potatoes, lettuce, swiss chard, marrows, kale, corn, garlic and an abundance of onions - without the use of chemicals. There’s hope of growing more herbs in time.

An orchard project is starting early this year and work is already underway for another community garden on the Downham side of BPP, due to be ready in September 2024.

I ask James what the one thing is he’d like people to know about the BPP community garden and he says this “it’s about supporting the local community, in 2023 they grew and donated 104.7kg of food to the Downham Gleaning Pantry (a social community pantry designed to help Downham residents on low incomes struggling to buy food)”.

"104.7 kg of food grown was donated in 2023”.

Just imagine if more community gardens across the borough of Lewisham were able to grow, donate and sell more local and nutritious food (without the use of chemicals) to local residents. The knock on effect to our health and climate would be great. It was such a pleasure to visit the BPP community garden, meet James and the lovely volunteers and I look forward to seeing the new community garden on the Downham side later this year.

Volunteer gardening sessions currently run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 2-3 hours depending on the season.

Please contact and register your interest before volunteering by emailing:

If you'd like to be added to our Food Growing WhatsApp group or if you'd like your garden to be featured in this series, please email:

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