UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Forest Gate Community Garden

This page is a summary of the collaboration between Forest Gate Community Garden and UCL postgraduate students and researchers through the Evaluation Exchange.

Garden with raised beds and a building at the back between trees

Forest Gate Community Garden, in an economically deprived area of East London, is a haven for wildlife and residents. It welcomes local voluntary and school groups, runs workshops and holds community events. Over 40 local residents volunteer with the garden.

How we worked with the Evaluation Exchange

People dancing around a May pole
Forest Gate Community Garden wants the ethnic diversity of people engaging with the garden to reflect that of the local population. The team sought to understand which sections of the community are underrepresented and to identify potential strategies for increasing the diversity of users. They did this by reviewing the literature, surveying other London community gardens, talking to parents and interviewing community leaders.

Legacy for Forest Gate Community Garden

Insights from the evaluation shaped an action plan to engage wider community members.

Legacy for the students and researchers

children and parents around a table looking a plants and activities

Man watering a plant

We have gained an appreciation of the complex network that exists between community organisations and their communities and the mechanisms which can be used to strengthen them; and we can see the value of gaining an external perspective on issues.

We value the appreciation from the garden of our commitment to the project, and we are confident in the knowledge that the time spent together has been valuable and useful for all involved, and that lasting connections have been made. 

Students and researchers involved
  • Will Dawson (PhD student, Chemical Engineering)
  • David Harrison (Research Fellow, Medical Education)
  • Simon Vakeva-Baird (PhD student, Environmental Design and Engineering)
  • Sophia Worth (Masters student, Environment, Politics and Society)
Resources from the collaboration

Find out more about the Evaluation Exchange