Waste of Space case study: Community Garden Fountain

Waste of Space case study: Community Garden Fountain

The fountain at Hilsea Lido was once a beautiful structure splashing water around the many swimmers who visited. Up until a few months ago, the fountain was not the thing of beauty it once was – it was unused and full of weeds.

A collaboration between VIVID Housing Limited and local residents of Southdown View Flats  

The fountain at Hilsea Lido was once a beautiful structure splashing water around the many swimmers who visited. Nowadays, it is no longer the thing of beauty it once was – it’s unused and full of weeds.  

Three tiered water fountain now disused, is covered in plants

Community group takes action: 

The residents of Southdown View didn’t have their own greenspaces at home and wanted a chance to adopt and take care of a local greenspace. Together with VIVID Housing Limited and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Local Trust, the local community met to discuss their involvement with transforming the Lido’s fountain. It was decided that the fountain, once a structure through which water flowed, would now be overflowing with plants, flowers, and vegetables – a garden for the community.   

Finding support: 

The residents of Southdown View, a VIVID homes flat complex, were supported by VIVID, and the Wildlife Trust. Together, they were able to get permission from Hilsea Lido to use the fountain as a community gardening space and agree on meeting times. The project was advertised by The News in Portsmouth to also welcome others to the community garden.  

Challenges faced: 

As is common when starting any community projects, there were some worries that people wouldn’t turn up each week to manage the new garden. Fortunately, it turned out there wasn’t anything to worry about. Now, there are regular members joining in every week and with advertising to the local neighbourhood, the group hopes more people will join them.  

close up of wildflowers on raised bed, with a view of a plaque reading "We're part of a wilder portsmouth"

A fountain at Hilsea Lido – what it looks like now: 

Work has already started on the fountain’s transformation. It’s now filled with soil and several plants have started to lay down roots in the area. Residents are really pleased with their new community garden. 

Is there a #WasteOfSpace in your area?

With a lot of wasted space in our towns and cities, there's a tremendous opportunity to transform these spaces into bright colourful places full of life. Any area, no matter how small, will contribute to a Nature Recovery Network, and help rewild where we live.

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