Wildflower Meadows, Communi-trees and Jammy Hedges
With 97% of UK wildflower meadows having disappeared since the 1930’s its vital we all do our bit to plant wildflower meadows – whether one square metre in size, or a whole estate. We work with Lindum Turf (turf.co.uk) who provide wonderful bio rich wildflower turf on a felt backing. Wildflower meadows are low maintenance only requiring two cuts a year: early summer and early autumn. Wildflower meadows also thrive on poor soil, so no need to add compost. But most importantly, they are absolutely beautiful. Below are pictures of a large wildflower meadow we planted at the Raglan Estate NW5:
Our latest designs include the planting of one metre square patches of wildflower meadows in raised beds. We have done this at Kentish Town Primary School and the Camden Climate Collective.
‘What if young people living on Camden Estates could become KOKO Foresters and get paid to plant and look after trees on their estates?’
Communi-trees is a project we have co-designed and delivered alongside Think&Do, in collaboration with local residents, corporate volunteers, and the council Green Spaces Department. The project, funded by the KOKO Foundation, invites residents to get involved in the selection and planting trees on their housing estates.
A unique aspect of this project is that young people living on the estates are paid to take care of the trees. Communi-trees is all about empowering young people to connect with nature and take pride in the greening of their estate. The project speaks to youth opportunity. As one young KOKO Forester, Musa Habib says: ‘I believe Communi-trees should be planted on estates all around London, with young people paid to look after the trees. It’s important to get young people away from their screens. Since Covid, it’s more important than ever for our well being that we connect with nature. As we rewild our grounds, we rewild ourselves’.
Camden Council employs contractors to come in from outside London to water estate trees, so this project is all about keeping it local. It’s not business – in this instance, grounds maintenance – as usual: Communi-trees means community action in practice. It’s not accepting the status quo as a given: this project is about thinking boldly and holistically across silos; creating solutions with the community; using one problem to solve another; putting the needs of nature and future residents at the heart of decision making.
The project has so far planted 90 trees across 8 estates in Camden and a cadre of 13 Camden Foresters. It is hoped that the project will roll out further across Camden during the autumn/winter 23/23 season, and further across London!
Who would’ve imagined that you could become a forester in a central London borough?
Communi-trees have been planted on the following Camden estates: Peckwater, Goldington, Regents Park, Clarence Way, Maitland, Templar House, Bourne, Bayham. We are looking to roll this project out across other London boroughs.
Read more in the Housing News, Summer 2022.
We are also great fans of planting hedgerows to screen residents on estates As part of a Think & Do project and with help from residents, we recently planted a hedgerow at Templar House, Kilburn