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Telegraph Lane 

Community Perm​acul​ture,​ Gardening, 

Creativity and Education


Telegraph Lane 

Ecological Community Gardens

The Earth Moves Community is very grateful to be instrumental in the restoration and re-utilisation of Telegraph Lane on the old market gardens in Wallasey where we are based. Its beauty, mystique and story of food growing and human activity reach back to Mesolithic times. We are honoured to be the latest chapter in this story. Our ambition is to create our ecological, creative permaculture project, transforming land, people and community. We aim to connect to an international movement that seeks a fairer, more inclusive, ecologically sensitive, and kinder world.

For the past three years, Wallasey’s Earth Moves Cooperative has been planning and preparing to move their community gardening and ecological projects to a new site on the Leasowe Road market gardens.

We are involved in a process of consulting with the community and those locally, who are interested in the benefits for both environmental and community well-being.  

Scientific data has been extracted from the site. We are forming a forest garden plan with international permaculturist, Tomas Remiarz,  and planning detailed surveys of the sites natural ecology - consulting local botanist and conservationist Dr. Hilary Ash.

We appreciate the assistance of Wirral Council who are collaborating in the project as part of their larger environmental program.

The Story So Far...

In the winter of 2016 a group of diverse individuals from the local community came together as an informal association to join the dots between the linked issues of a lack of action at a grassroots level relating to community resilience, the environmental crisis, the collapse of local food growing, and a disengaged, depressed and disconnected public.

By March 2017 the group had launched a co-operative based in Wallasey called Earth Moves, and following the example of usufruct accessed a derelict industrial greenhouse (thanks to Manor Garden Centre) on the historic market gardens along Leasowe Road. In 2017 we funded the project from our own resources, volunteer time, hard work and commitment and our transformative endeavours earned us pockets of funding from Awards for All, the National Lottery, Comic Relief and Groundwork. Within 2 years we had engaged over 200 people at the greenhouse mainly from Wallasey, Leasowe and Birkenhead where we grew food crops, learned about biodiversity and permaculture techniques and shared nature-based creative activities. We made the connections between the ecological and social challenges of today. 

We also provided a safe space and refuge for those in our community with non-neurotypical and mental health difficulties LGBQT+  asylum seekers and for those seeking some constructive peace and the benefits of socialisation within a safe and supportive space.

Using an exploration of the local environment as a starting point we made our creative and educational events and actions accessible, creative, diverse and fun. This stimulated interest in personal, community and environmental well-being creativity and development, through an enquiring, co-operative and nurturing ethos following principles of ‘natural progression’.

Community Food Production

We plan to grow salads, vegetables and fruit for local consumption by drawing on a mixture of horticultural but particularly permaculture designs, so as to research ways to link food production with ecological practices, nature conservation. and social need. Earth Moves see this permaculture aspect as a distinctive component of our management of the land, providing innovative opportunities for the public to participate through volunteering, courses, workshops and events. We encourage diverse members of the community to connect, share skills and provide mutual support. 

Human  Wellbeing , Education  and Research

We currently have a psychology research grant from the Aleph Trust in support of our project called ‘Transforming Land, Transforming People’, through which we will analyze how engaging with nature in practical and creative ways improves mental wellbeing.

Our ambition is to develop accredited courses leading to qualifications and ultimately a permaculture land college and knowledge hub. In this way, we can link with other sites and scale up food production and distribution through Community Supported Agriculture and Food Co-op schemes. 

As a co-operative Earth Moves is keen to advance the cooperative economy and could position itself as a co-ordinating or multi-stakeholder role in the local social economy and by providing consultancy to other community sites across Wirral and beyond.

Learning from the Environment 

and the impacts of Climate Change

Thanks to the support of the Bright Ideas Fund we are currently working with international permaculturist Tomas Remierz (author of Forest Gardening in Practice) who is designing a plan with information received from the Earth Moves community. 

Through this start-up support from Bright Ideas Fund we are also seeking to broaden our project consultations through community events and workshops during 2021. We are keen to link up with local nature, ecology and community groups to see how we could co-operate to develop the social, ecological and economic benefits. We have consulted with local interested parties who have expressed relief that our project is taking place rather than an un-environmentally friendly alternative.

We aim to run courses at the site through Wirral Lifelong Learning. These are in well-being, community environmental volunteering, child mental health, and family gardening. Consequently through our gardening, cultural, well-being, LGBTQ+, educational, social media and ecological activities we have built a social community of interests and supporters drawn both from our immediate local neighborhoods and from further afield in Wirral and Liverpool. These supporters are keen to progress and apply our projects through our move along Leasowe Road to the Telegraph Lane site.


Themed Edible Gardens

A range of exploratory garden projects will be created from diverse groups generated by the Earth Moves community, with participants working co-operatively towards our evolving holistic plan devised with Tomas Remiarz.

First up is 'The Women's Gardening Group' funded by Comic Relief. We have already done lots of work to create this garden. We see collective growing as a more sustainable and attractive alternative to allotments - Working in small groups means work is shared and so is the harvest. When one or more people cannot attend the garden is maintained.

We are currently raising funds for a number of solidarity projects including, a Gothic Neuro-diverse Bio-diverse Garden, as well as a sensory healing garden, a vintage heritage garden, a nature goddess, a themed edible sculpture garden incorporating a nature trail through the wilder areas of the site.

It is important to Earth Moves that getting involved in the land is a diverse, fun and educational experience thereby helping build a future lifestyle for all with horticulture, permaculture, and nature-loving practice at its heart.

Telegraph Lane History and Condition.

The Telegraph Lane site was abandoned for 30 years. Consequently, large swathes of the land have become overgrown and reclaimed by nature through processes of succession. Apart from the fields at the Green Lane end most of the fields are waterlogged and flooded through the winter months This is particularly true along the ditch that runs amorphously alongside the bridle path itself. The neglect/resting of the land, however, has also increased the fertility of the soil and its long period without pollution from pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers could prove useful in enabling organic crops to be grown and promoting pollinators. This is what we are seeking to achieve and a marketing opportunity for our fresh produce sales.

The flooding of the site can be seen as an opportunity and by draining the fields through developing the ditches into a series of wetlands and ponds to advantage. Biodiversity can be encouraged by developing a range of habitats and niches as well as developing water catchment and irrigation for the dry summer months. This ‘blue infrastructure’ will create an ecological security barrier and for the site itself without resorting to security fencing - thereby enhancing the countryside and wildlife aspects of the footpath experience. In addition, fresh, nutrient-rich earth from the reclaimed ditches and ponds will be applied to the growing zones, to increase fertility and equally to raise the level of the land.

The significance of Telegraph Lane to the market gardens, the local area and Earth Moves

The site has important cultural, heritage and ecological value. Much of the site will be used as a nature reserve and a locus of study. Earth Moves have been gathering research in anticipation of a National Heritage bid to reclaim this lost heritage and use the lessons of why the market gardens failed to build a more resilient food system for the future.

By observing nature we can learn deep lessons about the meaning of life and our connection to ourselves and the world. If people engage with projects like ours they learn to appreciate the natural world, so are more likely to preserve it. Working together on Earth Moves projects teaches cooperation, improves communication skills, and builds connections and communities.

The permaculture strategy also links into the Forest Gardening concept promoted by our permaculture advisor Tomas Remiarz, so tree growth on the site,  particularly the willows will be encouraged and coppiced for hurdles, fencing, and basketry and related craft practices will be promoted.

Hedgerows will be restocked with traditional trees and shrubs and the introduction of fruit-bearing hedge trees for human consumption will also encourage the joys of birdlife.

A multi-purpose site and participatory project

Earth Moves analysis of small scale community-based horticulture goes back to projects going back to 2013. Earth Moves' ambition for Telegraph Lane is more than just a horticulture enterprise. We recognise that the site needs to be multi-functional to become sustainable. A lesson from the heritage of the market gardens is that diversification of crops was paramount to survival, due to vagaries of climate, markets, and pests. Therefore the efforts of Earth Moves re-enforces this approach, so while crops and plant products will be grown in an ecological and sustainable way, we add to this other complementary uses of the land relevant to current imperatives relating to the ecological crisis, climate change, food poverty, skills and employment, isolation, volunteering and local community wealth building.

As well as inputting into local food system development, Telegraph Lane will also operate programs of land-based education, research, well-being and cultural activity. We will encourage residents from local neighborhoods to participate in shaping the variety of activities on offer and to share cooperatively in the benefits produced. It should be noted therefore that this project measures success not only through generated income but also from the provision to the local area of social value.

Consequently, the site will also operate as a social space and meeting place, a therapy/wellbeing venue and centre for land-based education and training. It is also envisaged that in conjunction with these purposes will be able to accommodate visitors, walkers, cyclists, and tourists. We will run the operations of food distribution and sales /exchanges/ fair share an ecologically run and sourced and powered café and information office could also be established. Earth Moves will add to the biodiversity and grow an edible garden whose beauty can be enjoyed by passers-by. 

A community project that will create sculptures of intersectional international life-size nature goddesses will decorate the land. This project started over a year ago, these goddesses are made in an interactive collaborative way and reflect diversity.

A Note on Social-Ecology

The cause of the environmental crisis, climate change, and habitat degradation is rooted in our social interactions, manifesting as an oppressive and unfair hierarchy, alienation, competition, and dis-ease whereby the mutual interests of individuals, communities, and the natural world are divided by alienation, inequality, commodification and exploitation. Promoting and designing co-operative, compassionate, caring, connective, and democratic approaches to how we live with each other and with nature are paramount for the health of the individual, community and planet.

Respecting, nurturing, and generating diversity is the ethos that builds the biodiversity we seek. This is The Way of Earth Moves; it is not utopian pie in the sky thinking, it is the hard, complex, and life-healing work that urgently needs to be done. The evidence is all around if we choose to explore.


Earth Moves Cooperative is currently established as a company limited by guarantee with co-operative Articles which can be viewed at Companies House or on our website. Included in these Articles are the reasons that make us a not for profit community business with a range of charitable aims foremost of which are education, horticulture and community development.

As a co-operative, we are pledged to improve and grow the environment for further co-operative development and encourage the setting up of a local co-operative business community. It would appear we are pioneering this socio-economic perspective in the Wallasey/Wirral area. We envisage the Telegraph Lane project as providing an opportunity for Earth Moves to evolve into a multi-stakeholder co-op supporting and coordinating a range of supported co-ops to develop on-site and in the local area. In this way, we can stimulate business activity and start-ups

The unfortunate commodification and financialisation of nature are increasingly being promoted by the ‘sustainability’ industry in which carbon credits are generated by measurement of biodiversity land units, local communities have already lost out on income generation in exchange for so-called ‘ecosystem services’. The project is in part a protective measure for community resilience, security, and green belt conservation. We see the community as being provided with the opportunity to design an ecological land-use economy that increases biodiversity and social benefits. 

Volunteer With Us

To volunteer with Earth Moves on this project, individuals will need to have completed our Environmental Volunteer Course, which we are running in collaboration with Wirral Lifelong Learning. We can then help potential volunteers with a DBS check (if they don’t have one). 

Visitors are welcome by appointment and will be asked to join in with the day's activities. We are planning a schedule of activities. The public is welcome to engage in many of our events. as long as they abide by our safe spaces policies.

Safe Spaces

At our events, we create safe spaces that consist of safe people. Many people have sensitivities due to past trauma or mental health. We make clear that we will not tolerate; racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, or degrading comments about disabilities.

We ask that interactions with others do not include ‘bulldozing’ and bullying.  Aggressive and competitive behaviour is discouraged at our events. We encourage people to respect the opinions of others and try to be present to what others are actually saying. We encourage self-reflection and resist ways of pushing against each other. More privileged members are encouraged to give 'a hand up'. Self-empowered ways of engaging and mutual aid are encouraged. Consenting leadership, cooperative values and compassionate, self-aware ways of being are promoted.

The Greenhouse-Generously donated by Manor Garden Center. Please visit them for all your gardening needs.

We are no longer working from the greenhouse, but are raising funds to build a  community glasshouse on Telegraph Lane.

Earth Moves started in 2016, walking the dog through some overgrown and abandoned market gardens near Leasowe Beach on the Wirral. We spotted an industrial size greenhouse through the brambles and weeds. Seeing it forlornly out-of-use made us think of the history of the area, and how once it would have provided fresh food for local markets. This led to a conversation about how so many individuals in the UK now rely on food banks, and often don’t have access to fresh fruit and vegetables grown organically.

It was at that moment we came up with the idea for Earth Moves, a community project, based in ‘The Greenhouse’, reviving its historical use and helping people to eat fresh and learn the skills to ‘grow their own’ in a sustainable way. We could provide a space for transformation with our arts, dance and wellbeing projects being situated in our year-round garden greenhouse.

So with permission from the owner Manor Garden Centre, we set about repairing the greenhouse structure, clearing weeds and planting. Inviting different groups from our community to come and help with the work and learn skills while doing so. We have held many workshops over the past few years at ‘The Greenhouse’, based on themes of wellbeing, creativity, ecology, diversity, and community action. Now we’ve outgrown this home, and are working with the local council to get a larger more permanent spot, still in the old market gardens at Telegraph Lane, to help Earth Moves deliver even more projects for local people.

The Belisama Green-House- Community growing, learning, and creativity 

Community Growing and Secular Temple 

greenhouse volunteer sacred meeting Belisama

A materialisation of a dream...

A living,  growing venue that offers well-being, creativity, education and a community. 

We aim to provide a natural environment, all year round for events and meetings.

A better future is possible, this project aims to enrich the community and possibly other communities for years to come. We are providing a sustainable growing community and a spiritual, secular and creative venue. 

Our activities promote cultural diversity, international growing techniques, intergenerational activities, and volunteer opportunities.

Growing food together is a powerful way to feel connected to each other, our ancestors and nature.

team greenhouse permaculture community meeting volunteer donate

Community Growing Space and Venue

In October 2016 we were given the use of a large commercial Greenhouse that was derelict since 2004. We have reanimated the space and ran events from there. 

Sunshine and plants improve wellbeing and there is much scientific research to demonstrate this. many of our volunteers have commented on the well-being effects in the greenhouse.

We have already created a community of like minds. This group are volunteers for space and freelancers.  We are looking for more people to join us. We have worked with other organizations including Wirral Evolutions, which are an organisation that provides activities for people with learning difficulties.

We have already generated a living, growing venue and sacred space that offers healing, education and a way to serve a  community that grows food,  but also offers personal growth through creativity and meditation. To be truly accessible to others we need funding to renovate the space and make it comfortable for a wide range of people.

We are creating a  green all-weather environment throughout the year for events and meetings

team greenhouse permaculture community meeting volunteer donate