Our Garden

Besson Street Community Garden, home to some of the cleanest air in New Cross and many beautiful and rare trees and plants (there is a connection here), is a Charter Branch of the the new Charter for Trees, Woods and People launched at Lincoln Castle to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the first Tree Charter in 1217.

At Besson Street Community Garden we celebrate and treasure trees recognising just how essential they are to life on earth. Trees have been on earth for over 300 million years, long before dinosaurs and humans, there are over 65,000 different species of trees and a third of dry land on earth is covered in trees. We simply cannot survive without them. As any primary school child will tell you ‘…trees breathe in the carbon and store it and breathe out the oxygen’. It takes two mature trees to produce enough oxygen for a family of four. So living in green towns and cities is not just beautiful but essential. The oldest living tree in the world is over 4600 years old, the Bristlecone pine in California. Though there are many other ancient trees, some as old if not older, yet to be discovered or their age be scientifically proven.

At Besson Street Community Garden we offer 10 week environmental learning courses, ‘Trees. Leaves, Birds and Bees, to primary school children in the local area. Last year we worked with 5 different primary schools, this year we will be working with 6 different schools with a total of 360 children. We have two gardening clubs each week, rain or shine. We offer three bee keeping courses each year and we encourage anyone who is interested in plants and trees to contact us to find out to get involved.

We have recently started developing an orchard in the garden, and have planted a Morus Nigra (a Black Mulberry) very generously donated by Mount Anvil, a Damson very generously donated by The London Tree Walkers Group and a Ficus C (Brown Turkey) to grown fanned against the side of our brick building, partly funded by a contribution from Goldsmiths.

We are also planting apples, pears and gooseberries with other fruit trees being planted soon. We are now developing tree identification and appreciation workshops for local residents and over the coming year are planning a variety of tree related workshops and projects.

For more information on our work around trees, volunteer gardening or our schools environmental curriculum please contact: jill.mountford@nxgtrust.org.uk

We are asking all our centre users, supporters and local residents to sign the Tree Charter https://sign.treecharter.uk/page/6023/petition/1.

1. Thriving habitats for diverse species
2. Planting for the future
3. Celebrating the cultural impact of trees
4. A thriving forestry sector that delivers for the UK
5. Better protection for important trees and woods
6. Enhancing new developments with trees
7. Understanding and using the natural health benefits of trees
8. Access to trees for everyone
9. Addressing threats to woods and trees through good management
10. Strengthening landscapes with woods and trees

Trees and woods capture carbon, lower flood risk, and supply us with clean air, clean water, shade, shelter, recreation opportunities and homes for wildlife. We believe that the government must adopt policies and encourage new markets which reflect the value of these ecosystem services instead of taking them for granted.