GrowingSouthwark's Blog

CLIMATE CHANGE: Mayor invites Londoners to have their say on strategy:
February 28, 2010, 3:24 pm
Filed under: campaigning, climate change

Input your ideas on two things:
-How we can adapt our homes, communities and way of life to prepare for more frequent flooding, droughts and heatwaves
-How we can reduce our CO2 emissions and become more energy efficient to limit further climate change in the future – this has
the added bonus of saving us money off energy and fuel bills
by May 6th….


For a bit of Guerrilla Gardening….
February 28, 2010, 12:06 am
Filed under: guerilla gardening, planting, wild

Bread and meeting on Wednesday!
February 27, 2010, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bread: rolls, loaf, pitta, baguette, sliced, white wholemeal, plaited, buns.

Grain: rye, spelt, buckwheat, barley, wheat.

Our next Growing Southwark meeting is Wednesday 3rd March 2010 at 7.30pm in the garden function room at the back of ‘The Herne Tavern’, Forest Hill Rd, SE22.

As well as the usual discussions and updates about local growing and food issues, Andy Forbes from Brockwell Bake will be with us to discuss ‘bread’: growing grain to make it, milling it and baking it and how their work is promoting local sustainability

If you have a favourite bread, homemade or otherwise that you’d like to share please bring it along, We’ll provide dipping oil and organic butter.

Herne Hill CAN
February 27, 2010, 9:35 pm
Filed under: campaigning, energy saving tips, events, ruskin park, tomatoes

For all those in Herne Hill

Ruskin Park update
February 27, 2010, 9:25 pm
Filed under: bees, birds, events, meetings, planting, ruskin park

again pasted straight from an email for your info:

Dear Friends

Ruskin Reports – March 2010

After a cold and icy winter, suddenly it’s March with the promise of spring just ahead. February was the busiest month yet for the Friends email with initiatives, proposals, comments and queries. We held our public meeting to update everyone, member or not. Time constraints prohibit notes from that meeting…you should come along to find out what is happening and our newsletter will pick up the main points, as several things moved forward. Please note the Public Meeting heading below.

Local Community Organisations of Note This Month:

· Windrush Square, Brixton reopens this weekend after its redesign. Details from the Brixton Society are attached.

· Friends of Carnegie Library hold their AGM on 18 March in the gallery at 6.30 pm. Their newsletter is attached.

· See is a networking site for environmental projects in our area.

· Growing Southwark is a group of active residents who wish to encourage edible growing across Southwark & beyond. Their newsletter is attached.

· King’s College Hospital has published the first edition of their Stakeholder Update attached. Note the section on planning for a helipad within their grounds.

· Herne Hill Climate Action Network will be working in partnership with Lambeth and the Friends in a new initiative in the park. More details will be in our newsletter and here

· Local campaign about the future use of the bingo hall near Camberwell Green

· The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) are offering a Bat Survey Training Evening on Wednesday 31st March 2010 at Brockwell Park. Information and booking form attached.

Volunteer Opportunities
Saturday 6 March 2009. Meet at the stable block at 10 am for 2 hours gardening in the park. Equipment and instruction is provided, but bring a pair of gardening gloves if you have them. The stable block is at the Denmark Hill entrance opposite the Fox on the Hill or from the Ferndene Road gate and to the right.

Newsletter delivery

Can you help deliver our spring newsletter to streets adjacent to the park? See Contact Us below.

Funding and Events Experience Help Needed

I will be writing to some of you with relevant experience in the coming week asking for help to form a sub group to assist the Committee. We need to identify funding streams then subsequently apply for funding to repair and renovate the stable block into a cafe and education centre.

Similarly, we are looking for help to celebrate the centenary of the sports field. We plan to combine this year’s annual summer fete with a family day of sports and games including a summer music concert on the bandstand and a big picnic.


There are no events in March, but Easter closely follows.

Salvation Army Gathering Good Friday 2 April – 2-3pm around the bandstand

Easter Egg Hunt Saturday 3 April – Registration 1.30pm at the bandstand

Bring your children to the park to hunt for eggs. Chocolate prizes for different age groups. It’s an Easter Eggstravaganza!

Public Meeting – Important!
Our next public meeting, which is open to all, will be in late April / early May. We will be tabling an agenda item about King’s helipad and inviting people involved from King’s, Lambeth, etc to take questions. Questions must be submitted in advance. Further business will follow afterwards. Please send questions or concerns about the helicopter landings in the park to Contact Us below. The meeting details will be publicised.


The spring issue is due by mid-month and will be delivered to adjacent streets to the park and emailed to members.


Your annual membership renewal will be due soon, as membership runs from 1 April to 31 March. More information will be available shortly.

Contact Us

Do you have any comments, suggestions or ideas? How would you like to be more involved in your park? Would you like to volunteer? Make membership a proactive thing, be involved as well!
Contact us at or 020 7733 5018.

Doug Gillies
Chair, Friends of Ruskin Park

Preserving Our Park for Future Generations

Green Flag award 2009

· Should you not want to receive this mailing in future, please reply to or phone 020 7733 5018

Potential Edible Planting around Kender St, New Cross
February 27, 2010, 8:32 pm
Filed under: campaigning, herbs, planting, street, Uncategorized

Ok-I’ve just copied and pasted this email straight from
as it is a BRILLIANT example of how to engage with your local council and enticing them into edible planting on our streets-what a great idea.
I’m hoping Daz will report back to us on this!

Subject: Edible Planting around Kender Street
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 15:47:09 +0000

Dear Keith,

A few weeks ago we met at the public exhibition for the Kender Street improvements. We discussed the new planting for the ‘Streets for People’ scheme and I stressed how important I think it is to include some edible varieties of street planting.

Of course you will appreciate that street planting does not just improve the aesthetic impact of an area – it also increases wildlife habitat and biodiversity, reduces the impact of flash flooding and serves to improve air quality. Street planting serves many purposes, and these must be considered together rather than in isolation. Thus it seems reasonable to add a further benefit to street planting, where this can be done at little or no extra cost – namely, providing a source of free, healthy and ‘low-carbon’ foodstuff.

I fully appreciate local authorities’ historic weariness of fruit-trees, for example – that they are seen as more troublesome than none-fruiting varieties. But the majority of fruit trees will produce without specialist pruning or other care. The impact of fruit-fall need be no greater than that of leaf- and flower-shedding, and fallen fruits are quickly consumed by urban wildlife. In the past, local authorities acted according to a different set of priorities. Today, food security, energy reduction and healthy, sustainable lifestyles are high on the agenda. Edible urban planting can make a significant local improvement in all these regards, and Lewisham Council increasingly seeks to achieve best practice on issues of environment and sustainability.

There are other ways to bring edible planting into the urban realm. Borders and grassed areas can be edged with fruiting shrubs such as raspberries and blackcurrants. There are several very tidy, well-behaved varieties available which will not spread, do not require pruning to fruit and will not over-produce. If flower-beds are to be maintained, highly attractive edible varieties such as courgettes and nasturtiums can be used. Finally, culinary herbs make for effective, low-maintenance planting.

It isn’t the case that everybody has to come out into the street picking fruit constantly. Rather, the point is to create an additional benefit that can be tapped into if required, without costing extra resources. Any food that isn’t harvested simply encourages local biodiversity and attracts increased wildlife (such as birds onto fruiting shrubs). This is not a loss, but rather an alternative benefit to be had. Once again, I insist that fruiting trees or edible flowers can be planted at no or negligible extra cost compared to non-edible types – there is nothing to be lost and much to be gained. A single apple tree can last a lifetime and produce literally tonnes of fruit for the local community.

I hope that you will take these comments on board and seek to incorporate elements of edible planting into the ‘Streets for People’ works. I would be absolutely delighted to clarify any of these points or to advise more specifically on different types of edible planting suited to different contexts. You might also consult Rich Far and Sean McBride (Lewisham’s Street Trees Officers, whom I am sure you know). Nick Pond, Lewisham’s Ecological Regeneration Manager may advise on other technical issues whilst the London Orchard Project should be able to give further advice on fruit tree varieties that are particularly suited to (and indeed have been bred for) London.

I hope that these suggestions are well-recieved and that you will take every effort to act upon

With kind regards,

Darren Flint

Darren then says:
Dear Transition Town friends,

You may be interested to read the above email, which I have sent to Keith Gordon at Lewisham council. He is a landscape architect responsible for the streetscape improvements that will be done around the Kender Street Triangle, under the ‘Streets for People’ banner. Please note that Keith is not responsible for the major TfL works that are redesigning the main roads around New Cross Gate and Kender – his remit will be to redevelop the newly-formed ‘back streets’ such as Kender Street itself. My hope is that he will include elements of edible planting into the basic design, which has already been drawn up and was on display at Kender Primary School a few weeks ago. If anybody else thinks that edible street planting in New Cross is a good idea, please consider contacting Keith to add your support.

-Darren Flint (Lewisham Green Party, candidate for Telegraph Hill}.

Wild about plants
February 23, 2010, 11:11 pm
Filed under: bees, birds, wild – another great website I have just discovered!!