Thursday, 4 March 2010

Plants, not Pogo Sticks

A corner of rubbish-strewn wasteland at the intersection of Ossian Road and Mount Pleasant Villas in Stroud Green was targeted by a group of locals and us Greens last Sunday in a massive clear up and greening operation. Anna Bragga and I, along with Crouch End candidate Pamela Harling and local residents, armed ourselves with sturdy bin liners, pitch forks and shovels to transform the eyesore into what we hope will become a thriving oasis of plants, flowers, trees and wildlife.

We spent several hours clearing a large quantity of litter and an assortment of bizarre objects from the tangle of ivy roots covering the turf.

Local resident, Gloria Else, who spearheaded the Stroud Green Reservoir Project, commented:

"There are not many green areas in Stroud Green, but the few areas that do exist are basically ending up as dumping grounds. We were shocked to find a pogo stick, feather dusters, shoes, cricket bats, pots, plates, a carburetor, a hub cap, the entire contents of someone's kitchen, builders' rubble including bricks and glass, check book stubs, plastic bags filled with dog poo and rubbish amongst the beer cans, bottles and crisp packets. If six year olds can enjoy caring for their environment as two young residents of Ossian Road did yesterday, maybe others can take their example and put a little love and care into this area."

I've been walking past this particular 'grot spot' for over a year, and it's been progressively been getting worse and worse, with more dumped rubbish appearing endlessly. Although we've made the council aware of dumping hotspots in Stroud Green, we thought we'd tackle this head on, encouraging locals to take ownership of this neglected corner.

By shifting four car-loads of dumping, which included a billiard cue and a pogo stick, and planting shade-tolerant plants, we hope to reclaim this space as a community garden for locals rather than a dumping ground. We should be making the most out of every bit of land we've got. It was great to have local residents come out and join us, despite the weather! The children seemed to have a good time too.

The guerrilla gardening movement seems to be really taking off in Haringey. Last August, the Hornsey and Crouch End Journal reported that local woman, Bethany Wells, transformed a disused public garden on Tottenham Lane into a thriving community garden with the help of local residents.

Bethany's project really inspired us and showed us how easy it is, with a little imagination, to transform derelict land for the benefit of the whole community. Ever since then we have been looking at neglected plots of land that would benefit from a little DIY gardening. Because we spend so much time in Stroud Green, we soon identified a number of areas needing attention and chose this one to get started on.

No comments:

Post a Comment