The Benhill Community Garden in the London Borough of Southwark used to be an overgrown, scruffy plot of land adjacent to the Brunswick Park Primary School. It was the creepy sort of place you would not want to walk through alone day or night – if you could even get into it. There had been a nature garden on the site many years before but it had been long neglected and was little more than a rubbish dump and possibly a site of illegal activities.
Elaine worked closely with London Wildlife Trust, the London Borough of Southwark Parks and Ecology department together with the local community to develop a design that maximised community interaction with wildlife and nature. The design aimed to enhance the space to incorporate as much habitat as possible together with good access points, natural play for children, seating and social areas and peaceful places for people and nature.