Toxteth: new gardening project to bring back nature

Press release
Friends of the Earth and The Co-operative Bank have joined forces to breathe life back into 1,000 nature-deprived spaces across the country, including in Toxteth in Liverpool
  Published:  24 Apr 2024    |      4 minute read
  • Friends of the Earth and The Co-operative Bank have joined forces to breathe life back into thousands of nature-deprived spaces across the country, including in Toxteth in Liverpool.

  • A new ‘Postcode Gardener’ will work with Liverpool Black Men’s Group and the local community to help green the area, while fostering community spirit and interfaith connection

  • The project will launch at a community event this weekend (28 April) with food, entertainment and gardening activities

Toxteth residents and local members of the community are being invited to join an exciting event taking place this weekend at the Princes Avenue Methodist Church, celebrating the launch of a new community gardening project for the area.

Hosted by the Liverpool Black Men’s Group, the Healing Gardens event (on Sunday 28 April from 11am – 4pm) will introduce a new ‘Postcode Gardener’ to Toxteth - Addae G - who will work with local people to encourage nature back into the area and support the community and wildlife to thrive.

The new role has been secured as part of a nationwide scheme being rolled out by Friends of the Earth and The Co-operative Bank, which seeks to rejuvenate 1,000 neglected spaces across the country and bring communities with little access to nature closer to the health and wellbeing benefits it can provide.

Addae, who is both a gardener and an artist, grew up in the rainforests of Trinidad and Tobago where nature is abundant and the practice of growing fruits and vegetables prevalent. He hopes to share some of this wisdom with the community in Toxteth and create thriving havens for all to enjoy.

Addae G, postcode gardener for Toxteth, said:

“Drawing on the expertise of the community I grew up in, I want to show people that gardening is about so much more than just the labour. It’s about tapping into nature – the simplicity of watching how the sunlight dances around, learning how to nurture plants and supporting them to thrive, and appreciating the ebbs and flows, and the rhythms of growing. Above all, gardening can teach us important life lessons about patience, perseverance and renewal, as well as the abundance that awaits us all with a little care and love.

“One of the first sites I’m excited to start cultivating is a plot by the Methodist Church on Princes Avenue, transforming the neglected space into a community Healing Garden. As an area that is home to a diversity of faiths and cultures, it will serve as an inclusive and spiritual space for all to enjoy, with healing food and herbs grown by and for the community.

“There’s nothing like feeling the soil in your hands to reconnect you to the land. I hope lots of people will join us this weekend to see just how potent a medicine nature can be for bringing us all closer together, supporting wildlife to thrive and creating health and happiness.”

Research from Friends of the Earth shows that one in five people in England live in nature-deprived areas, including a staggering 1.5 million children under the age of 12. Moreover, people of colour are disproportionately affected by nature loss, and are nearly three times more likely to live in areas with limited access to green or wild spaces. Toxteth was identified as an area where the community would greatly benefit from a greener environment.

Liverpool Black Men’s Group was set up in 2020 in response to the death of George Floyd, creating a forum for black men to come together and drive positive change locally. By hosting the new Postcode Gardener project, the group hopes to build on work it is already carrying out to foster community cohesion, interfaith connections, and a sense of care the local area. 

By reclaiming and nurturing public areas for community growing, it’s hoped the new Postcode Gardener can help to unlock the many advantages of greener neighbourhoods. Not only do they support wildlife to flourish and thrive - providing more habitats for animals and attracting much-needed pollinators into urban areas - they also help to reduce air pollution and protect communities from the impacts of climate change. What’s more, nature is known to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.

This weekend’s event will be an opportunity to bring together the diverse communities of Liverpool for a shared experience of gardening, learning and celebration. There will be food and refreshments, as well as live music showcasing the area’s rich cultural make-up.

Sunday’s event will be a family day where members of the community will be invited to come together to plant herbs and flowers in local plots, and join with others in interfaith prayer and meditation.

Catherine Douglas, Chief People & Sustainability Officer at The Co-operative Bank, said:

“We’re thrilled to be working with Friends of the Earth, taking positive steps to reverse the decline in biodiversity in communities across the country.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the community in Toxteth benefit from the Postcode Gardener scheme. We hope it will create meaningful, lasting change in their community.” 

Rianna Gargiulo, Postcode Gardener programme lead at Friends of the Earth, said:

“It’s really exciting to be embedding a new Postcode Gardener in Toxteth, which we’ve identified as one of the areas that would most benefit from this initiative nationwide.

“We’re thrilled to see our pioneering Postcode Gardeners programme expanding to new locations around the country with support from The Co-operative Bank, and to Toxteth with our local delivery partners Liverpool Black Men’s Group. Bit by bit, we hope to rejuvenate 1,000 depleted spaces nationwide, reconnecting communities with nature and each other.

“Making Toxteth a little greener brings us one step closer to building the healthier, happier and more harmonious world we know to be possible.”



1. Liverpool Black Men’s Group is a Community Interest Company (CIC) that was established in May 2020 to provide a forum for discussion of issues pertaining to the Black experience in Liverpool, with the hope that it can inspire Black men to become politically and socially active within Liverpool and further afield. Visit the group’s website and email at [email protected].

2. Friends of the Earth announced its new partnership with The Co-operative Bank in June 2023. Together, they are embarking on a mission to bring back nature to 1,000 nature-deprived spaces across the country. To learn more please visit: Friends of the Earth and The Co-operative Bank join forces | June 2023

3. Friends of the Earth first launched its Postcode Gardener programme in 2018, embedding gardeners in two locations – Hackney in London and Bideford in Devon. Following the success of these pilot projects, Friends of the Earth and The Co-operative Bank are working together to roll out Postcode Gardeners at a number of new locations.

4. To read more about the Postcode Gardeners scheme, please visit: Planting more Postcode Gardeners to create greener streets