Camden receives share of City Hall’s Grow Back Greener fund
Four projects in Camden will receive a total of £87,453 in funding to enhance green spaces and biodiversity in the borough. Local London Assembly Member, Andrew Dismore AM, has welcomed this investment through City Hall’s Grow Back Greener scheme and said that pandemic has “underscored the stark inequalities” that exist when it comes to accessing green space.
Coram’s Fields and the Harmsworth Memorial Playground, working in partnership with The Bee Friendly Trust and Age UK Camden, have been awarded £36,700 to improve key green spaces at Coram’s Fields, a vital community resource in Camden.
The intergenerational project will bring together children and young people with older people from local communities to redevelop four neglected spaces across the site. This includes installing a new pond, removing hard surfacing and planting fruit trees and raised beds. Volunteers will also have direct access to accredited training opportunities.
Global Generation, working in partnership with Somers Town Community Association and Oakshott Court Residents Group, has been awarded £20,000 to create new growing spaces in Somers Town.
The project will transform a grey section of the Story Garden, as well as two satellite sites in the local community. The improvements will be co-created with residents who will take part in a structured ten-week volunteering programme.
Castlehaven Community Association (CCA), working in partnership with Clarence Way TMO, Holy Trinity Primary School, MIND in Camden, The Outside Project, The Good Gym, Cob in the Community, Camden Garden Centre and Co-operation Town, has been awarded £20,000 to create a new food growing space in and around Castlehaven Community Park.
The project will work with volunteers and users from CCA’s foodbank, predominantly local Somali women, to create new growing beds at Castlehaven and in the local community, as well as supporting participants to develop skills to grow food at home.
London Wildlife Trust has been awarded £10,753 to install new drainage features and rain gardens at Camley Street Natural Park in Kings Cross, as part of the wider redevelopment of the site.
The project will allow rainwater to be captured from the roof of the new visitor centre, slowing down runoff and improving water quality. The project will include create a space for food growing and wildlife, and will include gardening activities and workshops for local residents, as well as a gardening market for plant exchanges. Figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), during the first lockdown, reveal that a fifth of London’s households have not had access to a shared or private garden during the pandemic. Those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are almost four times less likely to have access to an outdoor space.
The Mayor’s new London Plan contains measures to ensure London has over fifty per cent green cover. However, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, has refused to sign-off the latest version of the Plan – submitted to him a year ago.
Local London Assembly Member, Andrew Dismore AM, said:
“This funding will help to boost our local recovery from the pandemic, and is a step towards transforming pockets of the borough, so they can be better enjoyed by the community and allow biodiversity to flourish.
“The pandemic has underscored the stark inequalities that exist in our capital when it comes to ready access to communal green space.
“It’s positive to see that City Hall have a plan to address to this through initiatives such as the Grow Back Greener scheme, but it is the Mayor’s New London Plan that will make the biggest difference. The Secretary of State needs to sign it off and stop blocking its publication, so that we can really improve London’s biodiversity.”
- A breakdown of the funding allocations for each borough and project through City Hall’s Grow Back Greener scheme can be found here;
- The latest Good Parks for London report can be read here;
- Figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), in May 2020, reveal that a fifth of London’s households do not have access to a shared or private garden during the pandemic. Those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are almost four times less likely to have access to an outdoor space.
- The latest ‘Intend to Publish’ version of the New London Plan can be read here;
- Andrew Dismore AM is the London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden