Wirral, United Kingdom
City population: 319680
Duration: 2015 – unknown
Implementation status: Unknown
Scale: Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Project area: unknown
Type of area: Previous derelict area, Central Business District / City Centre
Last updated: April 2022

Green space created behind Rock Ferry library on unused land. The plot of unused land, owned by the Wirral Council, signed a lease with the 'Grow Sow Well' project to run a volunteering scheme and sessions for the community (particularly aiming to help people with mental health issues). Grow Sow Well worked with residents, schools and community groups, bringing people together to celebrate their area and increase awareness of healthy eating and food production. (Ref. 1, 2) This lease has was transferred to the organisation called the Utopia Project (works with young people and includes horticulture). (Ref. 8)

Volunteers working in Utopia Project


Nature-based solution

  • Community gardens and allotments
  • Community gardens

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Improving mental health
  • Improving physical health
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Social cohesion
  • Social interaction
  • Environmental and climate justice
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
  • Sustainable production


Creation of new green areas, Other

Project objectives

The overall goal of Grow Sow Well project (which was leased the unused plot of land at Rock Ferry, creating the community garden) is “to increase the physical and mental wellbeing of local people through community gardens on the Wirral.” (Ref. 3) Other general aims collected from a BBC Radio Merseyside interview with Helen Buckingham (director of Grow Sow Well), "building new gardens in previously unused pieces of land" (to use for therapeutic purposes) and use wildlife garden to because "attracting the bees is going to help with pollination". (Ref. 4, from the BBC Radio Merseyside interview) The aim is also to “raise awareness of healthy eating and food production”. (Ref. 2)

Implementation activities

The Rock Ferry community garden includes a vegetable garden and wildflower garden (to bring in wildlife). (Ref. 4; and Ref. 4 from the BBC Radio Merseyside interview) A partnership with Utopia Project to transform Rock Ferry included young people gardening by landscaping the area and planting various trees. (Ref. 4) Regarding the status of the project: In August 2015, Helen Buckingham officially registered Grow Sow Well as a community interest company. (Ref. 2) In 2016, the lease of the land plot at Rock Ferry has been transferred to an organisation called the Utopia Project. (Ref. 8) It is unclear whether this NBS is still ongoing.

Main beneficiaries

  • Local government/Municipality
  • Public sector institution (e.g. school or hospital)
  • Non-government organisation/Civil Society
  • Citizens or community groups
  • Marginalized groups: People with functional diversities, Other
  • Food producers and cultivators (i.e. farmers, gardeners)
  • Young people and children


Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Non-government organisation/civil society

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys, community meetings, town halls)
  • Joint implementation (e.g. tree planting)

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

Grow Sow Well has enlisted the help of the Utopia Project, a Wirral alternative education programme for young people struggling with formal education. Other organisations and community leaders involved in the project have included local Councillors, Wirral Council, Birkenhead Constituency Team, and Lairdside Communities Together. (Ref. 1) The lease of the land plot was transferred to the organisation called the Utopia Project in 2016. (Ref. 8)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? No (“The garden was created by Helen Buckingham, from Bebington, who was inspired by a course she attended at The Eden Project.” (Ref. 5) )


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Unknown

Type of funding

  • Unknown

Non-financial contribution

Type of non-financial contribution
  • Provision of labour
Who provided the non-financial contribution?
  • Citizens (e.g. volunteering)

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Increased number of species present

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Safety
  • Increased perception of safety
  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Increased visibility and opportunity for marginalised groups or indigenous peoples
  • Increased opportunities for social interaction
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Improved physical health
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Improvement in people’s connection to nature
  • Increased appreciation for natural spaces
  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research
  • Increased knowledge of locals about local nature
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts, Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records


Volunteers working in Utopia Project