Saturday, 24 August 2013

What part of 'No Dumping' don't you understand?

One of the reasons many neighbourhood residents tell us that they like and appreciate the tree pit plantings along Fordwych Road is that they prefer the beauty of nature around the trees to the flytipping and dumping that blights our streets in this part of London.

And yet the illegal and unsightly and yes, costly rubbish dumping continues.

Some of this behaviour is the result of just not knowing that leaving things on the pavement or street is illegal and unwelcome by neighbours.

Whilst in other cases, it's a matter of antisocial behaviour that selfishly proclaims that individuals can do whatever they want (usually under the clandestine cloak of darkness though), neighbours be damned and the Council will clean it up free of charge.

Garden Friends NW2 encourages our neighbours to 'be neighbourly'. And not dumping or flytipping along our neighbourhood streets, especially against our beautiful trees is a pledge that we believe everyone should take seriously. 

And we believe Camden Council should take their responsibilities, as proclaimed on their signage on Fordwych Road, seriously too. 

Enjoy your Bank Holiday weekend and keep calm and carry on gardening!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

On becoming a Green Camden zone

                                                       Green Camden

Garden Friends NW2 has become the latest Green Camden zone. According to Camden Council's Environmental Services website: 'The Green Camden zones programme is here to help you take action in your community. It is tailored to your needs giving you the support, resources and materials to green your local area.'

And that's just what we're doing with our Fordwych/St Cuthberts Road 'Green-up & Clean-up' initiative as well as our St Cuthbert's community gardening project.

Whilst Camden Council provides the support and framework for its Green Camden zone scheme, 'all activities are chosen and lead by passionate residents in the community who are keen on helping their neighbours and local area be greener.'

And that's us as well. Garden Friends NW2 continues to attract and include passionate residents in our neighbourhood who really care about the environment and their neighbours. That's why we volunteer our time to plant the tree pits, remove the graffiti and litter, prepare for the community garden project, maintain the herb corner, and assist and encourage residents to clean up and green up their front gardens.

So we're happy to be named the latest Green Camden zone and hope you are too. Like Fordwych itself, it's a long road to travel, but we're getting there. So please do your bit as a resident as well. Every small contribution helps whether it's picking up after your dog on a walk looking at the flowers, planting or watering a tree pit, greening or cleaning up that front garden, not flytipping or dumping on the pavement or against the trees, or picking up and binning that piece of litter that everyone else just walks past.

To find out more about Green Camden zones, click here.

To view Garden Friends NW2 and the other Green Camden zones on their interactive map, click here.

Keep calm and carry on gardening!

                                                     Green Camden

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Estate agents & community involvement

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 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!