Disused allotments unearthed in South Kilburn

Dan Thompson, who discovered the secret garden, wants to bring it back into community use

Marrows, potatoes and vegetables of all variety could be the latest addition to the South Kilburn Estate after disused allotments were unearthed there.

Dan Thompson, an artist who runs the pop-up shop in Peel Precinct, South Kilburn, stumbled across the secret garden just off Carlton Vale, after a resident told him about it.

Who owns the patch remains a mystery, but Mr Thompson says he is confident it can be brought back into community use.

He said: “I was really surprised to find them, but that is South Kilburn through and through – full of hidden treasures.”

Mr Thompson is part of Workshop 24, a team of artists-in-residence in South Kilburn who have been staging workshops and creating art which unlocks the creativity, culture and history of the area.

With the project due to wind up at the end of the month, bringing the allotments back into community use will their final farewell.

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“We have spent a lot of time going out and exploring the estate and talking to people, and that’s how we found them”, says Mr Thompson.

“There is a lot of green space in South Kilburn, but it is not very well used. This is an opportunity to change that and get people out of their flats and enjoying the outdoors.

“Setting up these allotments will be our last act here, and what a great way to go out.”

All 20 allotment sites run by Brent Council have lengthy waiting lists and campaigners have long demanded more are made available, particularly in the built up south of the borough.

Green-fingered residents, schools and community groups have all shown an interest in taking over a plot, and residents can attend a public meeting on the allotments next Wednesday at the Workshop 24 pop-up shop in Peel Precinct, South Kilburn, at 3pm.

A Brent Council spokeswoman said: “Before a decision is taken to bring the allotments back into use, we need to ensure residents are interested in using them. If they are, we can then discuss how best to do this.”