From the Royal Geographical Society, here is a Hackney walk about urban land use. Titled ‘Beans, berries and bees’ the walk visits urban spaces in Hackney being used to grow food and explores the potential of urban gardening in the borough. You can see the walk at the link here: Beans, berries and bees.

For more information about other walks in the series, see: www.discoveringbritain.org or contact Rory Walsh on r.walsh@rgs.org

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Comment by Russell Miller on August 29, 2012 at 15:28

I was actually restraining myself.  If this were a volunteer, unsupported effort maybe but if the Royal Geographical Society can't create an accurate map we really are in trouble.  Mapping is one thing Britain does (did?) very well.  This map has London Fields orchard at the top of Broadway Market when it is 700m away at the north end of the park.  It also features an Indian Bean tree that is neither in the orchard nor edible.  10 of the photos are of random spaces with 'potential'.

I think if you are going to describe something as 'An edible walk through the LB of Hackney' you need to show that Hackney is at the forefront of urban food production, or at least that there's a lot more going on than some garages with 'potential'.  Anyone looking at this from outside the borough will get a very misleading a parochial impression.  Anyone from Hackney who knows about what's going on will think it's silly and irrelevant.  This is not an edible walk through LBH, it is a walk through part of Haggerston with an urban food theme.

There are a few links to local projects but apart from St. Mary's Secret Garden, the City Farm and SH they are all museums or LBH parks websites with no food growing aspect. Most of the links are to London or national projects .  You can't say its an edible walk through Hackney and not mention projects like: Growing Communities, the Tree Nursery edible forest garden, Robin Hood Garden, TM's 12 orchards, allotments, dozens of estate based growing projects, Dalston Curve, etc etc. It doesn't do what it claims, it misrepresents Hackney food growing and it offers very little in the way of further guidance.

Comment by James Diamond on August 28, 2012 at 14:50

Russell, I think you are being a bit unfair about a genuine attempt to raise awareness of food growing potential.  There are several places on there that I was not aware of, and there are other resources like a photo gallery and links to local projects.

Comment by Russell Miller on August 28, 2012 at 14:11

Hmm.  Nice idea but it doesn't really do what it says on the tin.  Almost anyone could have done better than few shots of 'empty' sites 'suitable for food growing' and a derelict building 'suitable for bee hives'. A picture of an Indian Bean Tree in London Fields says nothing about food growing, the fruit are not edible, and the new orchard is at the completely opposite end of the park. At least they did find the Haggerston orchard.

Maybe I should e-mail Mr. Walsh. Poor local knowledge and poor mapping.

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