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About the

initiative

We are in the process of creating a community garden at the back of our School, just off Margate's High Street, as well as taking responsibility for clearing a section of free land that will be used by those in the community. This area has been a dumping ground and place of anti-social behaviour for over a decade.

We have been lucky enough to have had a successful crowdfunding campaign, raising over £28,000 with the support from the people and the organisations within our community. Since completing this campaign we have been able to bring on board a permaculture expert, run a call out for two paid residencies, landscape the garden, and our MA students were able to host an exhibition and workshop that celebrated local biodiversity.

 

The garden is shaping to be a place for:

  • Respite & contemplation 

  • Experiencing nature in an urban environment

  • Creating art through sculptural objects

  • Social community events

  • Educational purposes, e.g. growing herbs, fruit + veg

  • Exploring seasonal eating with the users of Our Kitchen (also in the High Street)

  • Research + experimentation with plant-based extracts to create bio-materials, dyes, developers, and more.

We also hope to offer workshops in the future, to develop our Eco conference series and develop sustainability based courses + qualifications.

  • Cleared the site of rubbish resulting from fly-tipping and vandalism

  • Erected fencing and gates

  • Created a perma-culture-orientated community garden plan

  • Preserved and pruned existing trees and vegetation, and removed those deemed dangerous

  • Landscaped the garden with a permaculture expert

  • Purchased Insurances

  • Created a social & sculpture area

  • Planted an edible garden

  • Hosted an exhibition & workshop organised by our MA students

  • Rescued fish and installed a fish pond

  • Planted fruit bearing trees

  • Employ a coordinator

  • Run a call out for 2 paid garden residencies

The Margate School is situated in the High Street of Margate, in one of the most challenging high streets in the country and one of the poorest wards in the country. The rear of our building has attracted anti-social and criminal behaviour, drug users, vandalism, fly-tipping over the years affecting the local residents, traders, our students, visitors, shoppers and tourists. The project is an opportunity to significantly positively impact on the lives of the local community but also wider communities and give the High Street an improved presence.

Benefits include: Neighbourhood and community building; Wellbeing and healthy living; Regeneration and reinvention of the high street; Greening of an urban environment; Diversification of insects, birds, plants; Reduced anti-social behaviour; Connecting art, the community and nature Improved educational and skills development offer; Potential for development and employment opportunities.

Community

engagement

The Margate School opened its door in the summer of 2019 taking on the former Woolworths building situated in the High Street of Margate, that stood empty since 2008. It managed to gain some funding to start its operation offering the only European MA in Fine Art: Art, Society, Nature + running numerous community based workshops, exhibitions + events. It is actively supporting the regeneration of Margate's high street through its work, facilities + public art + community projects. We have become a creative + community hub working with diverse community groups, schools, professionals + industry alike thus creating + nurturing a collaborative + co-creative ecology. The community garden will be an extension of our humanist vision. We have now received some funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to kick start the project + allowing us to raise further funds for the project in support of the local community. In 2021 the TMS team had a permaculture workshop for project preparation.