Green makeover

DSCF8438Eastwood Green. ©Geoff Wilkinson

Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, the South Woodford Society’s Greening South Woodford project is now underway, which will see new sites such as Eastwood Green given a green makeover. Louise Burgess reports. Photo by Geoff Wilkinson

South Woodford residents and local businesses kindly and generously donated to our recent Greening South Woodford crowdfunding project, hosted on Spacehive, to improve the green areas of South Woodford. The money donated was match-funded by Redbridge Council and thus took the total raised to over £7,000!

The Society has recently adopted another two sites: Eastwood Green (pictured here) by the corner of Eastwood Road, adjacent to the George Lane roundabout, and Bell Green, opposite the Railway Bell pub, just outside the Tube station. Some work has already been carried out, and these areas will be refurbished over the next few months with new plants, benches and signage to make the areas more usable and attractive.

Diverse planting to encourage biodiversity, bug hotels and native, insect-friendly plants will bring more wildlife into the area. Planting more greenery will help to reduce pollution and we hope it will encourage residents to linger in these green spaces. The areas will also feature some small spaces for play and learning about the wildlife and plants.

Meanwhile, the community orchard alongside the flyover on Mulberry Way and Primrose Road now has its full complement of fruit trees, with the long-awaited mulberry tree planted in March. The Qurani Murkuz Trust donated an olive tree, which was also planted on the same day by a number of volunteers who came together to help plant the new trees, prune the existing apple and cherry trees and cut down the cages around the trees to allow for growth and airflow.

Over the next few months, we intend to purchase and install a storage facility on the orchard site, hopefully, to include a green roof. The storage facility is urgently required to allow for the secure storage of tools and litter-picking equipment. We are also starting discussions with the council to allow us to install a rainwater harvesting system by diverting rainwater flowing along the viaduct; this will help to keep the plants and trees watered in these important early growing phases.

There is one more thing we need: help, to bring these plans to reality. We have the funding for the purchase of plants, the storage container and heavy landscaping, but would really appreciate some additional assistance!

We already have some wonderful, enthusiastic volunteers, but if there is anyone out there who has some expertise they could bring to the party, particularly in relation to the plans outlined above, that would be great. We would also love to provide the opportunity for anyone who may be concerned about their mental health, who would like to get out in the fresh air for a bit of exercise, or who are new to the area and would like to meet some like-minded people. The smallest amount of time can make all the difference, and everyone is welcome!

For more information and to get involved with the Greening South Woodford project, email e18society@gmail.com