Outside the main town centre, in Conduit Lane, opposite Coombe Woods is the Central Nursery. In the past the council grew all the plants that were used in the public realm for parks and spaces even roundabouts and verges. The plants were grown under glass in eleven huge glasshouses which are still there today. Empty, unused and generally used for storage of old broken, park benches and bits of machinery. The site is a depot for the current landscape contractors, idverde.
There is the intention to bring one or some of these glasshouses back in to use to enable food growing. More food grown locally is one of the outcomes of the Food Flagship Programme. This, if it goes ahead, will be from 2018 and we will have one growing season to grow crops and sell them to prove a model of food growing and being able to monetize it and make a trading profit.
Green Croydon looks to partner with other organisations along with idverde and Croydon Council.
There may be a crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds to get the glasshouses back into a usable condition or funding through a Heritage Lottery bid.
As of February 2018 there are no new updates. We are waiting for developments with the renewal of the landscape contractors. Either it changes or it stays with the current one and then we know who we are dealing with. More information to follow as the project progresses.