Founded in 1978
Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets, London
Founded when a group of volunteers converted a former railway goods depot into allotments, Spitalfields City Farm is situated next to London’s financial centre, the City of London.
Created in response to locals’ demand for allotments – having lost theirs to developers – the farm now features gardens and a range of animals. Volunteers work closely with the local community to provide access to nature in one of London’s poorest and most densely populated areas.
The organisation promotes the benefits of healthy and sustainable lifestyles: for example, the sustainable management of natural ecosystems for the benefit of wildlife and as an educational and recreational resource. Crucially it provides children and young people with a ‘safe, stimulating and inclusive space in which to play and to connect with nature.’
Well-known for its annual Goat Race – said to rival the University Boat Race – the farm also hosts the Coriander Club, a gardening and cookery club for Bengali women, founded by Lutfun Hussain in 1999.
Volunteers help with gardening and maintenance and corporate organisations based in the City are encouraged to get involved with the community they operate in by taking part in team challenges. These corporate events are mutually beneficial and in 2017 had provided over 6,000 hours of assistance to the farm.