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.