The East London Garden Society

The Saving of Belmont Wharf

Belmont Wharf is:
A small community garden built for food growing, wild flowers and a habitat for wild life.
A seed station to share produce and plants with the local community.
A place of calm, in which all are invited to share.
A place where events such as art and pizza making in the outdoor clay oven take place.

Come and meet us and see if you would like to be involved in gardening, art events and workshops held here in the garden. It is open to the public every Wednesday from 2 p.m. during the growing season.

There are two ways of having communities involved; one is repression, having few amenities for the residents/workers, allowing more enforcement. The other, is investing in the communities, i.e. having amenities made available, whereby the whole community can assist one another.

All too frequently we as residents are blighted by libraries and police stations closing and urban green spaces made over for private development. One such case is Belmont Wharf, which will soon no longer exist.

Belmont Wharf, as the name suggests, is an old wharf no longer used for its primary use. It is now a wonderful natural community garden in which all may learn about nature and is located on the Regents Canal, off Lark Row, Bethnal Green. Within the area is a Community Centre and playground for children/teenagers to exercise and there are moorings along the canal, providing the only access to a natural world on the southern side of the canal.

Tower Hamlets Council is to mark this area for private development and visits have already taken place on behalf of the Council, to access the need for its private development. Although this is in the early stages, the community centre looks as though it is no longer used and the Community Garden (Canal Club Community Garden) has not been relicensed. People locally are afraid that this area will soon become high priced flats overlooking the canal.

Surely, it would be a shame to lose such a community area. After all, it was once envisaged that people could be involved in their community. The Saving of Belmont Wharf is not just an area for the wildlife, which will be lost, but local authorities should invest in communities, not destroy them.