Accessible Allotment

  • Client Community Not-For-Profit
  • Type Community Gardens, Garden Design
  • Size 345m2

This garden design was for the Lewes Organic Allotment Project to improve access and increase participation for the Oyster Project (a local self-help group), other disability groups and schools. The brief included a growing space that would allow ease of access for individuals with various disabilities; facilitate growing opportunities from sowing seed to harvest for all; and provide shelter, access to water and a potting area. The clients were very focused on using local and sustainable materials and minimising any environmental impact on the site.

We provided solutions for their brief by providing a garden design with plenty of easy access suitable for wheelchairs and mobility vehicles, sight and sound features, and we have also allowed for a lot of growing space. We have also used novel plant forms to allow more access for a greater diversity of disabilities, while also maximising use of the vertical space for growing.

Sustainability and use of local materials was considered with regards to sourcing. The shelter, raised beds and pergolas are all built using locally harvested sweet chestnut coppice. The coppice was hand split on site to create a ‘hand-made’ feel to the build; the client wanted the allotment feel to be retained. All surfaces are created using Nidagravel units, a wheelchair friendly landscaping system that is also permeable. The shelter was designed so it could withstand the weight of a chalk grassland turf roof, a future project for the user groups.