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From Seed To Solar

A mother and child visit a community garden run by Energy Garden in London.

Community gardens, solar power and trains.

Find out how Energy Garden has grown community gardens, community energy and pride by mixing biodiversity, train stations, volunteers’ imagination and solar power.

Hello! In this episode, the inspiration is provided by Energy Garden, a co-operative which has helped over 130 communities create gardens at overground railway stations across London. Not only has this re-connected residents with nature and food growing, increasing local pride in the process, it’s also improved the wellbeing of passengers plus delivered a whole range of benefits valued at an estimated £11.35 of social return for every £1 spent.

Join Agamemnon Otero, CEO of Energy Garden, and Charlotte Whitfield, Customer Service Director for Arriva Rail London, to discover how they’ve grown community energy and their keys to success, including how they’ve utilised solar power as an income generator to fund this innovative work.

A excerpt from this episode:

“There are thousands of people that come together every day and that’s literally what Energy Garden is. It’s a cooperative community benefit society. It benefits the greater community and our community is hundreds of thousands of people that frequent the stations every day and the bat huts, bird nests, beehives, gardens and biodiversity sanctuaries on the platforms of the Transport for London. And so what we’re doing is basically inviting people to become a part of an urban commons.”

“Over the last 10 years, we’ve had about 10,000 m2 of space on the London overground and underground, cultivated through the hands of people who live in their local area.”

“So there must be an energy element to this, as you are calling it Energy Garden?”

“I would say that its energy in two forms, community energy and renewable owned community energy. And yes, we have the first solar cooperative on the on the rail in the U.K. on a train depot. It not only powers the needs of the train operator, 60% of that energy can then go onto the grid, and that generates revenue so we can keep going.”

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