What’s the most prominent feature of ‘street furniture’ on Fordwych Road? Benches? No, none of those. Litter bins? We’ve a few at major intersections now. Public art? Thankfully or regrettably, no. Post boxes? There’re a couple. Memorials? Actually there are at least two blue plaques placed on houses here. But a stroll or drive on any day will quickly reveal that estate agent signage is the main feature added to our road. The signs change regularly, but their presence is, well, ever-present, and it often involves pretty much the same group of agents, many of them local.
Not only are they endlessly affixed to walls and fences and gates, they are often taken down by residents or broken down by vandals and left littering the pavement and obstructing pedestrians.
Their presence attests to the highly transient nature of our neighbourhood, and especially to the large number of rented conversions, student and social housing, and absentee landlords.
So it’s not just the overwhelming presence of the letting and sale signs up and down the street; it’s also the fact that like it or not, estate and management agents are a prominent part of our little community. And as such, they are stakeholders in the greater good of the neighbourhood, as people don’t rent or buy just a flat or house, they also buy into the quality of life in the neighbourhood.
That’s why Garden Friends NW2 is starting a plan to pull in estate and management agents into our ‘Green-up and Clean-up’ initiative. Over the coming months we’re taking an inventory of every agent that posts a sign on Fordwych/St Cuthbert’s Road property to develop a list. We’re in the process of identifying a few of these agents who have expressed an interest in our campaign to work closely with them to develop a charter of community involvement for agents and their clients to become informed about the ‘Green-up and Clean-up’ initiative. Hopefully most agents will sign up to the charter and pledge cooperation and support, including maintaining sale/let signage properly, sponsoring the tree pit planting project, and encouraging owners and tenants to maintain front gardens with more greenery.
As far as we’re aware, this vision of partnering with estate and management agents around community gardening is (pardon the pun) breaking new ground. If you happen to be working with an agent or know an agent who might be interested, or if you are an agent representing property along Fordwych and St Cuthbert’s Roads, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hopefully before long, all that estate agent signage will mean something different to our neighbourhood as it carries a ‘Proudly supports Garden Friends NW2 Green-up & Clean-up initiative’ logo on it.
Keep calm and carry on (buying, selling, letting & managing) gardening!