our story

Paradise Cooperative was founded in 2014 with the aim of finding and utilising underdeveloped land for urban growing and community gardening.

Wildlife pond at Dobbins Field

Our main site is Dobbins Field, an acre of land just opposite HM Wandsworth Prison, which we steward on their behalf. Once an overgrown and derelict site, we initially used rare-breed pigs to turn and fertilise the soil and begin the basis of our growing. The hard work of our volunteers has transformed the abandoned and overgrown site into a beautiful smallholding where local people can learn and laugh together. It is an oasis of green in the middle of our city, and to us it is paradise.

Removal day!


Jo: has been a teacher for more than two decades, specialising in Geography and the Sixth Form. She works at Saint Cecilia’s, Church of England School, in Southfields. She is passionate about outdoor education and everything geographical.

Scott: has a background in finance and now works in environmental finance. He has a passion for bees, biodynamics, and permaculture after having taken a sabbatical to work in sustainable farming.

Paul: works as a director of the world’s largest international bank where, amongst other responsibilities, he designs Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) solutions. He is passionate about using his finance skills to support local community based enterprises.

Claire: Claire’s background is in HR and she has been running her own HR Consulting business since 2014 working predominately with local businesses and charities. She loves the outdoors, whether that is walking, cycling or even a bit of gardening.

John: John has over 25 years public sector experience. He has worked for Wandsworth Council for over 12 years currently leading the HR Business Partnering service. He is an Earlsfield resident and keen gardener, West Ham season ticket holder and strong proponent of all Equality, Diversity and Inclusion matters.

Rachael: Rachael has worked in the charity sector for more than twenty years in policy, research and programmatic roles. She is currently Director of Programmes for a youth social action charity. Rachael has lived in Earlsfield for 15 years and was a local Councillor from 2014 until 2018. A keen amateur gardener, she first started volunteering at Paradise in 2019 and enjoys bringing her family to the Sunday growing sessions.

Wildlife in the pond

Our Team

Lauren: our Head of Education, Lauren oversees our Paradise Learning programme. She delivers our Paradise Learning workshops to local primary schools, having swapped the classroom for the outdoors.

Vicki: is an organic gardener with a longstanding passion for edibles which has taken her from from heirloom vegetable seed producer, to running the walled kitchen garden at Hampton Court Palace, taking in allotments, windowsill and rooftop growing along the way. Vicki loves learning and sharing knowledge and passion for all things growing!

Clementina: assists our Paradise Learning workshops and clubs, helping children develop their enjoyment of nature and the world around them.

Preya: Preya, our Community Workshop Leader, oversees our weekend Community Volunteering session. She has a deep interest in how nature can enhance wellbeing, and is a keen knitter and crafter!

For environmental education jobs see environmentjob.co.uk.