The National Trust are campaigning for Convoys Wharf, in Deptford on the banks of the River Thames to be saved from a £1billion, 2500 unit development on the basis of its historical and horticultural heritage.
The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has placed has now placed the site on its watch list of areas of notable interest, thanks to the diaries of John Evelyn (1620 -1706), horticulturalist and founder member of the Royal Society.
In 1661, Evelyn wrote a pamphlet proposing the planting on trees to improve the quality of air in London, and went on to create a legendary garden, world famous for its use of French and Italian features. Although none of the garden survives today, he leaves clues through his famous diaries, describing beehives, an orchard, a walled flower and herb garden and a lake.
Although there are pressures to use the land for community use – new housing and a community centre have been mooted – there is a growing confidence that Evelyn’s garden will be restored and a John Evelyn community centre created to commemorate one of Britain’s great horticulturalists.