guerrilla gardening

For all that some people think that Lewisham “sucks” I’ve always taken a more upbeat view of living here.

So I’m inclined to view the work of the guerrilla gardeners (via ThaLondonDiaries) in a positive light. Indeed any of you who knew me in my role as Cabinet Member for the Environment in the last council administration may well have heard me extolling the virtues of this sort of approach (without the need to do the gardening at midnight).

There’s a report of an action they took in New Cross in October which seems to have gone well. Here’s what one participant said:

Great to be part of it last night please come back soon. Was thinking that action would be even more effective if leaflets were given out (perhaps even posted through nearby letterboxes) and a small sign put up explaining what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, including website details. Also a message encouraging passers by over the next few days and weeks to take a more active interest in this plot of land….I for one will try to keep watering it when I’m waiting for my bus to Lewisham.

I’d add that, in a Lewisham context, they should let the local authority know so they can help tend the spot or provide support to those that will. I know that given the previous state of the planter there might be some who might snigger at that suggestion, but I’ll try to make the case for the defence.

Lewisham has a history of working with those who want to take responsibility for their environment, as groups like FUSS (see video), the Brockley Cross Action Group or the graffiti busters of Blackheath or Lee Green can attest. I’m not saying its always been an easy relationship but usually its been constructive.

One of the last things that I was trying to start before the elections in May was some thinking with some of the people involved in the Neighbourhood Environmental Action Teams in Lewisham about how we could develop their role to take on some of the problem areas they felt were neglected.

All of which would have neatly segued into Nigel’s My Street Makeover.


About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
This entry was posted in Civic Society, Lewisham. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to guerrilla gardening

  1. If you’d like to get Lewisham council involved in the up keep of the planter we rejuvenated a couple of weeks ago you are welcome. However their previous maintenance regime suggests a great lack of interest and imagination. I also think they should focus on services to the community that are beyond the capabilities of local people. What would be more welcome is the £200 it cost us to plant it, and a blessing to let us get the satisfaction from tending the plot. That can easily be made on the website via PayPal. We don’t expect funding or ask for it from authorities, but it has been gratefully received retrospectively in the past from annonymous London council who paid £250 via PayPal.

  2. andrewkbrown says:

    Hi Richard,

    The lack of interest may have had something to do with the plans that I think the NDC in New Cross had to improve small green spaces in their area.

    Its not really an excuse though and you’re quite right that you found wasn’t a great advert for the care that should have been shown.

    My pull with the Council is somewhat less than it was 7 months ago, but I’ll certainly bring the issue to the attention of the appropriate councillors and officers.

  3. John Thompson says:

    Hi Andrew.
    I have spoken to Glendale about this and they are happy to make a donation for the work that has been done, in fact they like the planting scheme and may replicate it in the other planters. Adrian has asked if Richard could let us have a contact name and address as he would rather send a cheque than use pay pal.
    All the best.

  4. andrewkbrown says:

    Nice to see this has worked out.

    Thanks John and Adrian.

  5. Daniel says:

    I have seen a garden guerillia fighter last week,

    here is his picture, please inform the police:

  6. andrewkbrown says:

    No need to involve the authorities this time, surely? 🙂

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