The Herbert Road Green Oasis is a groundbreaking volunteer-led project in Greenwich aiming to green-up the neighbourhood's main shopping street. Herbert Road used to be the heart of the community. But today, it’s grey, it’s full of litter and a crime hotspot. The only tree on the street died.
A group of residents have decided to transform Herbert Road into a Green Oasis by planting trees, flowers, shrubs, and building a public seat from reclaimed materials. This will help bring a sense of place, reconnecting the street with its local history and identity. The Oasis will improve biodiversity and air quality. It will improve the quality of life for the community.
We will recruit a Green Oasis community gardener for 40+ weeks to train up as many local residents with new skills. The growing group of volunteers can continue developing the Oasis along the street, and neighbourhood.
We've received some funding from Friends of Barnfield Estates and Mayor of London Grow Greener Fund.
What we'll deliver:
- Create bespoke community seating made from reclaimed materials
- Gardening workshops for 40+ weeks to train residents and the local community
- Plant flower beds for pollinators
- Plant fruit trees (apple, plum and damson) to reflect Plumstead’s long history as an orchard and improve air quality
- Improve access with a path made from reclaimed paving stones
- Lots of community engagement
Why it's a great idea:
The Oasis offers a range of community co-benefits, environmental and community ones, including:
Enhancing health and wellbeing: Gardening and spending time in nature is important for health and benefits. The gardening sessions will contribute to residents' exercise, and the planting scheme help clean the air quality. When surveyed, almost 30% of respondents felt the project was important for their health and wellbeing.
Better green space for residents: Local statistics show that 62.2% of the Ward population live in a flat and may not enjoy access to a garden.
Offering new skills and training: Residents can learn from the community gardener, and offer time to help maintain the oasis and other projects.
Positive action: 99% of residents asked support the project. In fact, we started early: This summer, we planted sunflowers and Jerusalem artichokes at the proposed location. Residents offered help with watering. Within weeks, a rose bush was planted, and watered daily.
Steps to get it done:
- Launch the crowdfunding campaign
- Advertise the gardener role
- Confirm the planting plan
- Detailed design & schedule of works
- Present the final project to the local community
- Landscaping works - add the path, build the seating
- Community Gardener weekly training sessions start
- Community planting
“Herbert Road has become more unpleasant in the 5 years I’ve lived nearby. Pre lockdown I walked along it every day…but it’s not easy, dirty pavements, litter and the atmosphere is sometimes intimidating. Any initiative has to be a good thing.”
“I do not currently use Herbert Road…because of the way it looks and the unbearable anti-social behaviours. It is not a safe area. But it is one with great potential. Hence I support this project. I will be one of the users of the shops and services there, once it will feel safer.”