Hackney council to fund "edible park"

Ever since the world became acquainted with the psychedelic world Roald Dahl created in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, people have longed to stroll through edible landscapes.

That dream is one step nearer reality with the announcement that London could soon become home to the world’s “largest edible park”, if campaigners in Hackney get their way.

Hackney council is already stumping up £100,000 to pay for the redevelopment of Mabley Green, near the Olympic Park, to help develop the space into an area filled with fruit and nut trees, vegetables and herbs.

But locals want the plans extended to beat the current largest edible park, the seven-acre Beacon Food Forest in Seattle, which opened in 2009.

Damian Rafferty, chairman of the Mabley Green user group said: “At the moment, Mabley Green is bleak, bare and barren.”

“We want it to be a place rich with vegetation, where people can wander in and grab something to eat.

“It doesn’t have to be the biggest in the world, but it could be, and we want to instil local pride and excite people from all over the country to come and see it.”

“We also want Hackney mums to be able to say to the children, ‘run to the park and pick some apples for the tea.’ It’s about bringing a bit of rural into an urban area.”

Rafferty added that the park could help curb soaring levels of childhood obesity, which is a major problem in Hackney.

Sadly, this means the plans are unlikely to include a chocolate waterfall.

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