The story of the project

The Sturry Road Community Park  was initiated by the Kent Gardens Trust, in order to establish a prime amenity and ecology resource on a 18.5 hectare former landfill site on the eastern edge of Canterbury.


The area has a high level of deprivation and a dearth of green amenity space.

Kent Gardens Trust secured £170,000 of Landfill Tax Credits from the Brett Environmental Trust to begin the project along with a grant from the Countryside Agency, under the Doorstep Green Initiative.

In partnership with Canterbury City Council, it helped local residents set up the Sturry Road Community Garden Trust which now manages the site.

Both Kent Gardens Trust and Canterbury City Council act as advisors to the Sturry Road Trust. To begin with, a small amount of landscaping was carried out, comprising an open arena and kickabout area for team games, children and toddlers play equipment and a small car park for disabled users. It soon became apparent however that a development partner was needed to take the project forward.

The way forward

Deacon Landscape proposed a sustainable funding package to complete the construction of the Community Park through the re-use of waste materials under an exemption from Waste Management Licensing and the Woodland Grant Scheme.

The package included the following items:

  • Sourcing, treatment and placing of soils to provide essential growing medium and form the contoured park structure.
  • Compliance with Environment Agency requirements, including materials testing to ensure that no contaminated material entered the site.
  • Construction of further footpaths to form a network, BMX Track and timber trim-trail.
  • Woodland planting and maintenance and establishment of a wild flower meadow.
  • Installation of land drainage and swales.
  • Provision of funding towards the long-term maintenance of the site.
  • Payment of legal costs, Environment Agency fees, and Health and Safety supervision.
  • Funding of a landscape adviser for the project.
  • Installation of signage, seats and litter bins.

Work was commenced in August 2004 with sections of the park being handed back to the Trust when completed in order to maintain public use of the site throughout the construction period.

Shared Vision

Deacon Landscape has worked closely with the Sturry Road Community Garden Trust, Kent Gardens Trust, Canterbury City Council and the local community in order to deliver a finished project that successfully combines environmental, recreational and biodiversity goals.

Regular meetings have been held with all of these to ensure that the design of the park and garden developed according to their wishes and that the impact of construction activities minimised both on nearby residents and park users. We have also been active in helping prepare areas for several community events that have taken place, including tree and bulb planting.

tree planting 2

Early Success

The Sturry Road Community Garden Trust was successful in winning a £50,000 People’s Millions Grant, which enabled us to construct a formal garden within the park which was then planted by an enthusiastic band of volunteers.

This was formally opened on 17th June 2006 by local dignitaries at a Funday, which attracted over 200 local residents as well as many distinguished guests.

The garden is now primarily maintained by local residents.


We are grateful for the support of the following organisations:

Kent Gardens Trust

Canterbury City Council

Kent County Council

Deacon Landscape

The Countryside Agency – Doorstep Green

Brett Environmental Trust – The Landfill Tax Credit Scheme

The Rochester Bridge Trust

The Kent Community Foundation

The Whitehouse Wish Foundation

Living Spaces – Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

People’s Places – New Opportunities Fund

People’s Millions – The Big Lottery Fund

CSV Environment – with support from Morrisons