Surrey Docks Farm rises from ashes after devastating fire

A city farm, devastated by an arson attack more than a decade ago is set to rise from the ashes with its new riverside development plan.

Surrey Docks Farm in Rotherhithe Street, will include new activity spaces, riverfront views looking across to Canary Wharf, rooms to let, and outdoor areas for its 50,000 visitors a year.

The farm’s adjacent three-story tower, which was burned down, is going to be renovated.

There will be a kitchen on the ground floor, which will be a training resource to encourage people to cook with fresh produce and maintain good diets, as well as a catering resource for the events held in the River Room.

A new office for the farm’s staff team will be on the first floor, and an open space for arts and crafts and therapeutic sessions will be on the top floor.

The farm is fundraising for its second phase of development to open up its riverfront by the Thames. The public will be able to enter through its new main entrance, through the gates onto the Thames Path and into the farm.

New paving, landscaping, and gardens will provide a social space for socializing and community events as well.

The Farm’s River Room is being upgraded with a glass orangery to provide additional space for school programmes, classes, meetings, conferences and birthday parties.

This development plan is funded by Southwark council. Councillor Jasmin Ali, cabinet member for children and adult services said: “Speaking personally, I cannot wait to bring my family down there to see the transformation.

We have also granted the farm a new 35 year lease at a charitable rent so that these new education and community resources are secured for the long-term and the farm can enhance and develop its special offers for residents.”

Surrey Docks Farm is open seven days a week with free entrance. It provides people with an opportunity to learn about farming, food provenance, and sustainable practices.

It also offers educational workshops for children to promote green initiatives, such as composting and recycling.