The Whitehawk Community Food Project grows wholesome and nutritious seasonal food, year-round. Volunteers learn and share practical skills, growing food that is either distributed to participants or cooked on site to share. The group received a £1,990 grant from our Southern Water Community Gardens Fund last year to redevelop the pond areas and to pay for maintenance to the water storage tanks which are used to conserve and recycle water at the one-acre site above Whitehawk in east Brighton. The top picture below shows what the pond looked like before redevelopment and the picture underneath it shows the finished result!
“We have built a large wildlife pond that provides a great focal point for discussion of water issues but currently there is only rough grass and a lack of comfortable seating,” says John Fryer, Chair of the Whitehawk Community Food Project. “We also want to build a run-off pond below the existing one where we would cultivate watercress and other aquatic plants.”
Water conservation and its recycling is essential for continued production of organic fruit, vegetables and herbs so water collection from all available structures is crucial. “Our current tank-holding capacity is inadequate so, in addition to the pond work, the grant will go towards roof cladding, guttering and storage tanks,” says John. “In addition, we will deliver a series of water conservation worskops throughout the summer, covering a range of low-water gardening techniques.”
The Southern Water Fund which gives grants to community garden and allotment projects across Sussex. “This is a wonderful example of a community project giving something back to the local community,” says Andy Shaddick, Southern Water’s public affairs manager. “As a company, we are always encouraging people to find ways to save and recycle water and we are delighted to be able to support the expansion of the pond and refurbishment of the water storage and recycling on the site.”