I was invited by friends to visit Rochester Square Gardens in Camden, north London yesterday as this community garden project was celebrating its first birthday. Tucked away in a small, quiet square only five minutes walk from Camden Road station, this lovely space was once a plant nursery. Its current caretakers have transformed what had been a derelict site into a place where both plants and people grow sustainably. On their Facebook page (see below), they explain their ethos and invite people to get involved:
We currently facilitate workshops and events promoting environmental awareness and action, Art/Crafts/Music/Film/Photography and Movement. The space welcomes you to tune in with the rhythms of collective awakening, evolution and harmony on our planet.
If you have ideas for the space or would like to run a workshop / presentation / event, get in touch and be a part of the garden! :)
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this peaceful urban oasis and recommend you pop by if you’re in the area! If you’d like a taster of the place, you can see some of the photographs I took during my visit in the slideshow above…
I’m very pleased to report that, after much diplomatic negotiation, the volunteers at Syon Lane Community Allotment have been granted another year on the site – it seems that after a lot of hard work on the part of the volunteers over the last couple of years (including winning an award and being featured in the local paper!), the owner of the land was impressed with what has been achieved and was therefore happy to extend their time there.
And I’m looking forward to getting back down there with my camera…
Last Sunday saw the harvest festival celebrations at Syon Lane Community Allotment. Marking the end of summer and the beginning of autumn, the festivities included apple bobbing, lantern making, dancing, drumming, singing, and a vegetarian feast made from veggies grown at the allotment (plus home-brewed wine!) and eaten communally round the fire. This was a happy and cheerful occasion, with smiles all round and a feeling of connection to the earth and to each other – despite the noise from the constant stream of planes heading into land at nearby Heathrow airport!
I recently paid a visit to the Syon Lane Community Allotment in west London. Set up by some of the people involved in the Kew Bridge Eco-Village project on the site of what had previously been long-derelict and long-forgotten allotments running alongside Syon Lane station, this rather lovely green space is currently full of late summer colour and growth – as you can see from these photos!
If you’ve been inspired by the slideshow above and would like to visit, the site is open to all every Sunday until dusk. It runs parallel to Platform 1 of Syon Lane station (South West Trains) – the platform for trains heading from Hounslow towards Waterloo – and can be accessed via the footpath to Rothbury Gardens.
Christmas is supposed to be the season of peace and goodwill, but it usually ends up as the season of conspicuous consumption and excess. Just think of all those Christmas lights, and the several forests worth of wrapping paper and cards we each use every year – let alone the number of trees that are chopped down for seasonal decoration and all the food that goes to waste each Christmas. Multiply that by every family in the country – and then the world – and it ends up being not very environmentally friendly at all.
However, it is actually possible to have a great Christmas while still being as green (and as ethical) as possible – and that doesn’t mean being revoltingly worthy about it all, either. It’s all about taking small steps to becoming more environmentally friendly: it all soon builds up. So here are a few simple and practical ideas to make your Christmas a greener celebration without costing the earth, either financially or environmentally…
On a showery early September Sunday recently, I set off across south London to Brockwell Park in Lambeth for the fourth annual Urban Green Fair. Aiming to bring green issues to a city environment, the Urban Green Fair team see their remit as “informing, entertaining and educating people on green issues and making positive, sustainable change”. Putting their money where their mouths are (so to speak), the organisers state that the fair itself is an independent event and is powered by solar and wind energy.
Offering information on all sorts of green projects and businesses in London, a film tent, speakers on social justice and green issues, lessons in making bread from milling the flour to the use of an outdoor baking oven, spoken word and poetry performances, drummers and musicians, safe cycling information, stalls selling everything from recycled vintage fashion to organic herb plants, healers of various types, vegetarian and vegan food, lots of activities for the little ones, and a really chilled out, family-friendly atmosphere, this year’s Urban Green fair was – to me anyway – undoubtedly a success.
As ever, I turned up with my trusty camera in order to bring you a little visual taster of the Urban Green Fair 2010, so here are some of my favourite sights of the afternoon…
“An unused piece of land, with so much potential on the Hanworth Road in between Clarence Terrace and the Gurdwara Temple. We plan to give the land back to the community! A few of our ideas are to create a playground, sports pitch, art & workshop space, nature trail or anything the local residents feel they would like to see”
Welcome to the Hounslow Community Land Project! This exciting new community project has just started up on the now-derelict industrial site on the Hanworth Road in Hounslow. Once a dye-works, this land has been empty and unloved for a number of years, but is now being transformed by a group of activists who want to get local people – and anyone else who is interested – involved in the project:
“Everyone is welcome and help is needed so come down and get stuck in, if you wish to stay overnight we have a communal tent or bring your own”
They’ll be having an open day on Saturday 22nd May 2010 (between noon and 6pm), so come on down to the site for a cuppa and get involved in some gardening or a musical jam session – or even bring some sports equipment for a few games!
Meanwhile, here’s a few photos from my visit yesterday to give you a sneak preview of the site as it is at the moment (click on each photo for the larger version)…