This is a pocket park that sits next to Charlton station in southeast London and was created in 2013 as the first site of a local community gardens group.

The area is owned by the railway company, and following its refurbishment a couple of decades ago as part of a Millenium upgrade, some plots of planting were created, but not especially managed.

In 2013, the Community Gardens group took over the site, cutting back the overgrown planting and turning it into a mix of decorative planting as well as vegetables and salads, and a grapevine.

On one side is a memorial cherry tree plained in 2018 in memory of Elaine Picton who was a founder member of the Central Charlton Residents Association. In the early spring months, the vegetables are looking a bit more mulch than munch, but early shoots show their promise, and some of the decorative plantings are already waking from a winter slumber.

The canopy over the entrance and the poles supporting it could do with a really good clean, but that’s for the railway not the pocket park.

The station used to be known as Charlton Junction, although now that applies only to the actual railway junction to the west, and the station is simply Charlton station now.

The row of newish houses that runs along the northern side of the station was once allotments before the railway later used the site for a coal yard which closed in the 1960s and developed into housing in the 1990s. The residents of the road now help out with watering the plants, so in a way, the lost legacy of the old allotments is still alive.

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3 comments
  1. Dave Dower says:

    I am glad someone is doing something about keeping green spaces in London good onthem. Greenwich Council has closed 3 large greens to build on, kids won’t be able to play games etc any more on the greens in Kidbrooke SE3. The council don’t give a hoot about the community as to where they can meet. It was a godsend during the pandemic. It’s just homes for profit not fresh air for the community.

  2. NG says:

    Elmstead Woods station is a pocket park (!)
    Or so it seems, every time I go through, anyway

    • Anders says:

      There’s quite a lot of pocket parks at stations run by local groups who work with the train operator. Elmstead Woods is one of the best of these station friends/adoption groups in the country. They do lots more than just garden and you can find out more about them here: https://communityrail.org.uk/.

      Just for openness, I used to work for the national body that supports them but it’s a great initiative that lots of people don’t know about so I hope the plug is acceptable.

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