Nearly 50 people came to the first 10 x Greener community meeting at Daubeney Primary school last night. It was a great turn out and there was lots of warm enthusiasm for the project.
I gave a short presentation that focussed on a single question – how green can we make the Daubeney Road’s neighbourhood?
In the first part of the presentation I gave a good number of reasons for making a street 10 x Greener. Making streets greener can improve our health, tackle air pollution, create space for nature, provide food, build community, reduce flood risk and provide pleasure. With all these benefits, who wouldn’t want to have a greener street?
What we are proposing to do is not really new. On this website we’re listing lots of inspirational projects and places that communities have created. Some of the most beautiful and lush places have simply used flower pots and planters.
While the solutions can be low-cost and fairly easy, the reality is that most streets in London are not nearly as green as they could be. We hope that our 10 x Greener project will change that.
The purpose of the 10 x Greener project is to not only take inspiration from these kinds of projects, but to find a way to make the effort work in the long term. The only way this will happen is if lots and lots of people in the community take the leadership to make places greener and then look after them. The more people who do more green things the more successful we’ll be.
I then explained, there are three key things that we will be doing.
- Make & Take events – Led by EcoActive, there will be three free events at Daubeney Primary School where members of the community can come and make things like bug hotels, bird boxes and planters. We’ll also be planting seeds in lots of flower pots. The more people who take part the better and you don’t have to live on Daubeney Road to come along. These events will be on Saturday March 24, Saturday April 21 and Saturday May 12.
- Greening shared and public spaces – We’ll be working to make some shared and public spaces greener. In some cases this may include swapping concrete for wildflowers. We may also improve some spaces that are already green but are currently neglected. Some of the work will happen on organised volunteer days. Three of these will happen the days after the Make & Take days – Sunday March 25, Sunday April 22 and Sunday May 13.
- Greening the fronts of homes – We’ll be offering every household on Daubeney Road some materials and support to make balconies, front gardens and walls 10 x Greener. For those that want it, as well as help to get set-up, we’ll also provide some help to look after anything that we plant. We are still working out the details of how this will work, but if you live on Daubeney Road we will contact you via your letter box. If you live close to Daubeney Road we will still look for ways to help you too.
As I explained at the meeting, the 10 x Greener project will plant the seed… but it’s down to members of the community to make it both a success and sustainable.
Next up on the floor of Daubeney Primary were representatives from each of the organisations that have offered to help make 10 x Greener happen so far. These included:
- Jules Kirby, Friends of the Earth
- John Little, Grassroof Company and the Poppy Estate’s gardener
- Jess Dolan, EcoActive
- Sam Parry, Hackney Council Parks Team
- Gerry Tissier, Daubeney Fields Forever
- Gregory Logan, Headteacher of Daubeney Primary School
We also heard from the BBC’s Natural History Unit who will be filming some of the project. They showed a taster film of the series they are making. As you would expect from the BBC’s nature team, it was stunning.
There was a good discussion at the end of the meeting about how we can make sure that we reach and include as many members of the community as we can. We will be holding more events and going door-to-door to try and make sure that happens, but the more neighbours who work together on this project the better!
After the meeting and bumping into a beautiful Daubeney fox, Sam Parry (from Hackney Council’s parks team) and I went to meet with the Clapton Park Management Organisation’s board. There was lots of interest in the project and many great questions. The board was very keen to find ways to help make sure as many people benefit from the project as possible. Sam and I will be working with them to do just that.
After listening to residents at both meetings I’ll be organising another meeting soon. The purpose of the meeting will be to bring even more people together and to start imagining how much greener Daubeney Road’s neighbourhood could be.
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