A campaign to reinvigorate a famous 17th historic garden of international significance has been given a £20,000 boost from Sadiq Khan.
Organisers of a community campaign to bring new life to Sayes Court Park in Deptford are thrilled by the backing of the London Mayor given to its crowd funder. Sadiq Khan’s support means the community group called Sayes Court Garden C.I.C have now secured 67 per cent of its total and still have 50 days to go. The project is to begin with events to engage people in the vision for a garden and urban horticulture centre on the site where John Evelyn laid out his experimental testing grounds in 1653.
The renowned diarist explored ideas in his gardens from his travels across Europe which ranged from climate change, air pollution and vegetarianism. Peter the Great stayed at the mansion house in Sayes Court while learning ship building at the neighbouring Royal Dockyard and his favourite pastime was being pushed through a nine foot thick holly hedge. John Evelyn descendant’s efforts to create a park at the site in 1876 inspired the creation of the National Trust.
Sayes Court Garden C.I.C fought a successful campaign to extend the park, which is next door to the forthcoming Convoys Wharf development.
It won the support of many including Lewisham council which gave the developers of Convoys the condition their scheme must make space for the Sayes Court Garden. Support for the project has also come from the the National Trust, Eden Project, Gardens Trust and the World Monuments Fund.
Resident Roo Angel, a co founder of the group, said: “We are really excited about the potential of crowd funding as another way that communities and organisers can come together to have their own say in the future of this precious place. There has been an amazing response so far and even the smallest contributions can make a huge difference in helping to show the larger funders that this is what the community wants to see.”
Giving backing to the project Merlin Waterson from the National Trust, said: “It would be hard to conceive of a property which encompassed so many of the future purposes of the National Trust. The garden was of exceptional importance, the historical associations fascinating, and it was a valuable open space in the heart of London Docks.”
The project is in collaboration with the local team assembly who set up the Old Tidemill Wildlife Gardens in Deptford, the Wildlife Gym and other community groups.
Sadiq Khan donated £20,000 through his Crowdfund London initiative run in partnership with civic crowdfunding website Spacehive.