School Children from the Marlborough Centre get Green Fingers at Rochester Riverside


On May 23rd, ten school children enjoyed a gardening and planting workshop at Rochester Riverside, Countryside and Hyde’s 1,400-home regeneration scheme on the banks of the River Medway.

The ten children were all from the Marlborough Centre, which operates within Hoo St Werburgh Primary School and provides specialist provision for pupils with autism.

Gardening is one of the key topics for the children at school this year, and this has formed the basis for the invitation to Rochester Riverside for a site experience day and planting masterclass. There are three large planters within the site compound, and the children will be planting one of these with herbs to be used in the onsite canteen, and the other two, with seasonal plants.

The day is part of the ongoing commitment to community engagement made by Countryside and Hyde, which will educate early years students about the construction. The pupils also received a tour of the site, before being awarded with a certificate to take home with them. 

Andy Fancy, Managing Director for North and South London at Countryside Partnerships South, said: “We plan to invite the school back twice a year, maintaining the planters and changing the plants for the appropriate season. Hopefully this will become the start of a really special partnership between Rochester Riverside and the Marlborough Centre, and an event that the schoolchildren will look forward each year.

 “Community engagement could not be more important to Rochester Riverside, and the relationships we’re building with the local community through events such as this are proof of our commitment to Medway.”    

Over the next 12 years Countryside and Hyde will transform the site in to a new mixed-tenure community with provision for a primary school and nursery for children living at Rochester Riverside and surrounding area, as well as a hotel, parking, open space and landscaping.

Construction at the scheme has begun on the first three phases, comprising 489 homes and a hotel, along with 2,200 sq m of commercial floorspace and landscaping. The first wave of new homes is anticipated to complete in the first quarter of 2019.