An energy garden for West Croydon station

By - Saturday 28th January, 2017

The case for an energy garden at West Croydon Overground, and how to get involved

Photo by, used with permission.

Energy Garden is a partnership project delivered by Repowering London, Groundwork and Transport for London. Each energy garden is different, and is designed with input from the community to reflect the local area. The gardens incorporate on-site renewable energy to power lighting, water pumps, community noticeboards and other small-scale station amenities. A long-term income to maintain the gardens will be provided by a larger solar energy site and this will be opened up to a community share offer. The Energy Garden scheme already provides paid internships for young people and a programme of workshops for schools. The Energy Garden scheme is available to any London Overground station… Communities across London are transforming Overground stations into thriving energy gardens. These gardens combine flowers, edible plants and renewable energy. They make the stations greener, prettier and more interesting a soothing relief from drab, grey concrete. They provide spaces for people to come together to garden and to build stronger communities.

any London Overground station, so why not West Croydon?

That was my initial reaction when I heard about Energy Garden. West Croydon is a station on the Overground line. It is very drab and boring, it would be great to make it prettier and greener. Facilities powered by renewable energy would make it more interesting. Our schools would like those workshops and our young people could benefit from those internships. Where do we sign up?

Maybe you are thinking along the same lines? The good news is that we did sign up.

I have been working with Croydon Transition Town and other local community organisations to bring an energy garden to West Croydon. The draft plans for phase 1 include a living wall and plants on the platform (see image below). Living walls are ideal for a site like this as they provide habitats for insects, improve air quality and reduce noise pollution. They also help to keep their surroundings cooler in summer as they don’t store heat during the day and release it at night, like brick and concrete do.

It’s going to be fun and exciting, but we need YOU!

But we want more! We want to incorporate rain water harvesting with a solar pump to provide low-maintenance irrigation. We want beautiful crocuses from Croydon Saffron Central. We want to showcase the industrial history of the station and the surrounding area. And we want to spread outside the station confines into London Road, and the new bus station, and along the parade of shops in Station Road so that everyone can be involved, not just commuters.

It’s going to be fun and exciting, but we need YOU! We need your ideas and feedback and enthusiasm. If this is a project that you would like to see happen, we need you to get involved.

You can find out more through our Facebook page (PM us if you would like to be included on our email mailing list). Don’t be shy, we’re a friendly, welcoming bunch! More details can also be found about the Energy Garden scheme here, and Croydon Transition Town here.

Vanessa Nicholson

Vanessa Nicholson

Vanessa Nicholson has lived in Central Croydon for over 25 years. She still mourns the loss of Turtles, Beanos and The Water Palace. She shakes her head in bewilderment at some of the decisions taken by the Council - spending £450 million on its new office, building an incinerator at Beddington Lane, closing down the David Lean Cinema and selling off the Riesco Collection to mention just a few. But... she enjoys discovering the unexpected side of Croydon - the view from the terrace at Heathfield House or from the viewing platform at Addington Hills, Coombe Wood Gardens, the Whitgift Almshouses... and she loves the tenacity, ingenuity and spirit of Croydon’s inhabitants - RISE Gallery, Matthew's Yard, Lives Not Knives, Croydon Radio, the allotments at Wandle Park, the successful campaign to save the David Lean Cinema and many more.

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    Great project – I’ll be contacting you today to join in :-)