The aim is to make South Woodford a better place to live, work and visit by improving the look, air quality, recreation opportunities and community cohesion of the area. There are three main locations we want to improve. An orchard which has been established by local people and now ready for the next stage of making it a community meeting area where residents can tend and benefit from its produce as well as sit and enjoy. Local families and schools can visit to better understand wildlife and their habitats. The second is a plot of land which we would like to regenerate with flower beds, play opportunities for children and a meeting area for local people including a community herb garden created by local people for local people. Thirdly, we would like to support further a local gardening group with resources to enhance the amazing work they already carry on flowerbeds in the area. Plans include a community composting project which will reduce waste and recycling and feed all 3 areas.
What we'll deliver:
- Bench seating and biodiverse planting at Eastwood Green
- Low level lecturns with information on the plants and their uses
- 6 x Anti slip recycled rubber stepping stones
- Refurbishment of four noticeboards to allow promotion of local events and initiatives
- Bench seating and additional biodiverse planting at South Woodford Community Orchard
- Container storage for Orchard
- Community Composter for orchard
- Community herb garden for Eastwood Green
Why it's a great idea:
Regreening South Woodford with biodiverse wildlife friendly planting will help to reduce pollution, increase wildlife (including pollinators) and help to grow awareness of climate change. The benefits to the environment of an increase in the number of plants and greenery in an area, and the increased access to the public, are well documented, can help with mental health and prevent feelings of isolation. The bench seating will encourage people to use the areas and help to create stronger community cohesion. There will also be opportunities for volunteering as maintenance, such as weeding and regular watering will be required, and this will also help with community engagement and help those who are suffering with their mental health. Plants will be chosen to be as drought resistant as possible and to be natural to the UK. Education opportunities for the whole community including schools around gardening, composting, biodiversity, wildlife , growing and healthy eating..
Steps to get it done:
- Refurbishment of noticeboards
- Prepare ground and installation of green roof storage container at Orchard
- Hold community engagement event to finalise planting plan for Eastwood Green
- Final planting day with public and volunteers and installation of lecturn and benches
- Installation of benches and composters at Community Orchard and launch of neighbourhood composting scheme
- Opening event at Eastwood Green and Open Day at the Orchard
The container storage planned for the orchard is essential as tools for the orchard, soil and seeds etc have to be kept at individual's houses and this makes access difficult, ie, if volunteers cannot get access to the tools. It needs to be as secure and robust as possible as the site is open to the elements and is completely open on all sides so is vulnerable to being broken into.
We also need storage for litter-picking equipment as we usually meet at the orchard and again these items, which are quite bulky and awkward to carry, have to be kept at the organiser's houses. Storing them at the orchard will allow wider access to the equipment as anyone with the lock combination will be able to collect and use the equipment.
Both the orchard and the herb garden provide opportunities to encourage residents to think about healthy eating and cooking from scratch reducing obesity and increasing the health of all.
Community composting will reduce residential recycling and Waste.