Camberwell Subterranea can be found at the basement level garages on John Ruskin Street, just opposite the Kennington Park Extension. The project started in March 2012, when we were given permission by Southwark Council to use 4 garages plus a small utility building to develop a community project, a sustainable hub for learning new practical skills. The garages had been derelict and closed off from public use for many years due to anti social behaviour. The Council planned to renew and rent out the other garages, but supported us with new windows and allowed us to use the exposed concrete areas for additional growing space.
We started on the Big Dig day in March, over that weekend we built 7 large raised beds and planted fruit trees, soft fruits, strawberries, herb and salads. We continued throughout the year adding 3 more raised beds and also using builders bags as containers to grow in. We’ve planted sweet corn, French beans, potatoes, sweet peas, grape vines, squashes, blackberries, loganberries, rhubarb, English marigolds, rubeckia and other flowers.
We worked with local volunteers, Brandon TRAs, Lambeth and Southwark probation services, Southwark Housing, British Sugar, Southwark YOS, Community Space Challenge, Positive Arts and local bike mechanics to develop the space.
We have held a variety of workshops on site, workshops which wouldn’t necessarily lend themselves to one another; Gardening, Bicycle Repair, Beekeeping, Painting, Carpentry, Plumbing and Electrical workshop/sessions, all of which contributed to the development of the site.
For more information about the bee hives click here.