Inspired by our own John Ashwell’s initiative to plant hundreds of trees in the north east quadrant of King’s Cross, Camden Council have put out a plea to anyone that wants to green a little bit of King’s Cross on the Camden side.
King’s Cross falls in the top 10% of neighbourhoods in the entire country that face deprivation specifically because of lack of access to open or green spaces. There will be some green in the new King’s Cross Central, but not nearly enough. If you have an idea – no matter how small or impossible it might seem, contact the Green Camden zone initiative for support. They can offer resources and materials.
When greening small areas of inner city London, it’s best to let your imagination run riot. Don’t be put off by ownership issues – just because an unloved area that depresses your local community is in private hands doesn’t mean you can’t transform it into a green oasis to put a smile on your neighbours faces.
John Ashwell had no reason to stick his oar in when it came to planting trees in the streets in his area of King’s Cross. But he cared. He cared enough to raise the money from neighbours and local businesses. He cared enough to take the lead role negotiating with the council to match every penny he raised pound for pound, and to undertake all the surveying, planting and future maintenance of the trees.
John’s inspiring and completely voluntary work doesn’t end there. He is one of the three founders of King’s Cross Community Projects whose vertical landscape project takes creating green walls to a whole new level. The combined art installation and garden will be sited on private land – part owned by a major housing association and part by a commercial office space developer. That hasn’t stopped the project – John and his pals wanted to transform their community and they are about to do just that. And they raised the funds via Islington Council so it can be done.
So, if you have an idea to make some space near you greener for the benefit of all your neighbours- no matter how mad it might seem – contact Camden Council.