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Maggie’s Garden Project

LFN first became aware of this space behind the Hermitage Land Bus Stop on Green Lane during a clean-up event held in February 2022.  A couple of members went off to litter pick along Green Lane, but after 1 ½ hours hadn’t got any further than this spot, clearing 6 bags of litter from the space which was clearly in disrepair.


Some 5 months later in July, we experienced the same thing clearing a similar number of bags during an event we undertook in/around Norbury Park.


We realised then that this was a real litter and fly-tipping hot spot that was clearly receiving little to no attention from the Council to keep it clean.


Over the next few months, the issue was discussed with several local residents, and we gained insights into the history of the site.  We learnt that a small-scale project was completed in 2020 by TfL to undertake some renovations at the site while they installed a toilet for use by the bus drivers.  At that time, we understand, plans were made to turn the space into a garden and make a dedication to the late Councillor, Maggie Mansell, who had served the Norbury community for over 25 years, but sadly passed away in 2019.

Unfortunately, this project never got off the ground…

The Friends of Norbury Park made it clear to us that they had no interest in undertaking any projects outside of the park, so we decided to take the bull by the horns and kick-start a full-scale project, with permission obtained from the Council to do so.


It was decided to renovate the space and turn it into a beautiful community garden, which could be respectfully dedicated in memory of Maggie Mansell.


With the assistance of a local garden designer, coincidentally also called Maggie, and other residents local to the site, Litter Free Norbury coordinated the project, specifically leading the fundraising activity. 


Firstly, we set up a GoFundMe page to receive donations and produced a slide pack to attract corporate donors and make grant applications to appropriate organisations.  We also designed several posters that were displayed at the garden, in local notice boards, and leaflets that were  numerous businesses in the area, as well as running an extensive advertising campaign across our social media.


Incredibly this activity raised just over £6K in funding from the community, other grants and several significant donations from LFN advocates.


The main planting was largely completed by an enthusiastic group of volunteers over the first half of the year, with sessions organised by LFN each month.

As well as planting the space out, the team also installed a large water tank housed within a purpose-built enclosure encompassing a compost bin, built bespoke insect and bird houses and painted the existing surrounding fencing.


The finishes touches were undertaken over the summer months, by a small, dedicated team, culminating in an opening ceremony taking place on a beautiful sunny afternoon on Saturday 2nd September with over 100 people in attendance, including Executive Mayor, Jason Perry, Deputy Civic Mayor and Cllr for Norbury Park ward, Appu Dhamodaran, and very special guest, legendary broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald! 


The final result is a beautiful garden that provides a place of interest for passers-by and has provided a significant “lift” to the area.  We hope it is something the local community can be proud of.

LFN wishes to extend thanks to:


  • The project committee of Tony Hooker, Lisa Patient and Maggie Woznica (who designed the garden) for “making it happen”

  • All the volunteers who gave up their time to undertake the renovation – especially Tom and Edyta, our husband-and-wife team (AKA “Maggie’s Engineers”), who undertook the build of the tank enclosure and insect hotels and other small works on site.

  • All the Norbury residents, LFN trustees, members and advocates who donated so generously via our GoFundMe page.

  • Stanley Arts, the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association and St Philip’s Church PCC for grants/donations.

  • The team of residents that put together the opening day event in September

  • The numerous organisations and businesses in the area that helped support the project fundraising by placing advertising posters and/or leaflets on their premises, including:

    Norbury Library, Colairo’s Café (at the Train Station), Woodland Café, Blend Coffee, Growing Beans Nursery, Easipetcare, Streatham Dental, Norbury Hill Cubs, Norbury Co-op, Streatham Sainsbury’s, Thornton Heath Tesco’s, Norbury Baptist Church, St Oswald’s Church, St Philip’s Church, St Stephen’s Church, Norbury Methodist Church and Endeavour Halls.

Do you want to contribute?

If any residents wish to participate in the ongoing upkeep of Maggie’s Garden, we understand that a “Friends of” group has now been established to maintain the garden going forward.


Make contact via the Facebook Group:

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