Community mission

Sweeping Leaves Us Happy at Ballast Quay Garden

4 runners ran to help the Ballast Quay Community Garden in Greenwich.

  • Steve Murtough
  • Sara Brimble
  • Julian Osman
  • Cath Macaulay
Wednesday, 23rd of June 2021
Led by Greenwich runner

Please, indulge me: Ballast Quay Garden is GoodGym Greenwich’s finest task offering.

Placed on high riverbank overlooking the Thames and Canary Wharf, the garden was created out of the industrial Union Wharf in the mid 1960s for the personal use of the neighbours of Ballast Quay. Throughout this period, Union Wharf was busy dockland, and the Thames teemed with coasters carrying cargo, and boomed with dockers’ sirens and whirring cranes. As you must imagine, Ballast Quay Garden gifted its residents some vital green tranquillity.

Over the years, the garden has inspired other green delights such as one at St Katherine’s Dock, and another GoodGym favourite, Surrey Docks Farm. And Ballast Quay Garden even had a stint as a tea garden in the mid 1980s which was a firm hit with Thames Path walkers.

These days, the garden is leased and managed by the wonderful Diane, whom GoodGym Greenwich regulars will remember from numerous tasks, and who met Cath, Julian, Sara, and me this evening at Ballast Quay Garden. We were given brooms and brushes and a bin bag each and were tasked (for an important reason, detailed below***) with sweeping and tidying the multitudinous paths that weave in and through the garden. The sun beat down with full summer-pelt and the air was full of laughter and chatter from walkers by. It felt magnificent to be gardening at Ballast Quay on a Wednesday evening in the summer – just like old times, eh?

When the hour was up, Diane arrived at the garden with new instructions: put down your brooms and come up to the terrace; I have wine! And we all duly did as we were told, and spent the next hour swapping conversation and telling stories and jokes – it was gorgeous. A perfect end to this evening’s task.

***Please don’t stop reading, I have IMPORTANT NEWS:

This evening’s gardening was not general upkeep. It was in preparation for this weekend’s festivities when Ballast Quay Garden will be open to the public from 10am to 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday (26th – 27th June). Tea and fresh cakes will be on sale with the proceeds going to charity. Why not come along if you’ve got a spare moment? You’ll find a green gem with some of Greenwich’s best-kept-secret views. Hopefully, see you there.

Report written by Steve Murtough

Discuss this report

Alex Murtough
Alex Murtough
Thursday June 24th, 2021 11:13

I just love this :) And wine... on a Thames terrace... in the Summer as well - you spoilt and lucky bunch :)

Greenwich runner
Greenwich runner
Thursday June 24th, 2021 13:41

Wonderful report as always, Steve - loved the little snippets of history, so much I didn't know! And ending the evening with wine and chat amongst friends is my idea of heaven :)

Steve Murtough
Steve Murtough
Thursday June 24th, 2021 17:19

Thanks guys! A genuinely beautiful task! :)

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Marta Campos
Led by Marta Campos

GoodGym Greenwich TaskForce member

Runners helping out
  • Report Writer

    Will be in charge of writing the run report

    • Steve Murtough

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