Vert, the 15 metre high wildlife friendly sculpture on Wharfdale Road N1 9UA was almost totally replanted earlier this year by two volunteers from local environment and arts charity King’s Cross Community Projects (KCCP). They entered the Islington in Bloom 2016 competition not expecting to win anything as their planting scheme comprises mostly native, near native and naturalised plants rather than ‘pretty’ or exotic plants. Yesterday they were astounded and very happy to learn they had been awarded a Silver Gilt prize.
Vert was the result of seven years of development – again done voluntarily – comprising setting up the charity, forming a limited company, promoting the project widely and a tough and long bout of fundraising. Thanks to local gardening expert Mike Jackson, KCCP were put in touch with one of Sir Anthony Caro’s proteges, Neil Ayling who designed the sculpture and managed its fabrication and installation by Benson and Sedgwick (the same company that produces Anish Kapoor’s sculptures). The charity undertook detailed consultation with neighbours in the area and gained planning permission. EC Harris, BAM, Haslemere, J Reddington, Complete Offices and Conisbee structural engineers all donated time and resources. Many local businesses, individuals and Islington Council all gave financial donations.