CARA Friends of the Gardens

 In November 2015 CARA Committee formed a new sub-group, CARA Friends of the Gardens, to facilitate applying for funding for some planting in Canbury Gardens. The wider aim was to protect and enhance our local green space, Canbury Gardens, working with CARA, the Council, its contractors, the Canbury Gardens Working Party, funding bodies and other interested parties to achieve this.

There will be a meeting to introduce CARAFoG and the Canbury Community Garden to the wider neighbourhood on 14th July - see the flier here.

So far the sub-group has:

  • Drafted a document setting out the sub-group’s Aims and Activities;
  • Successfully applied to the Metropolitan Parks & Gardens Association for about 1,000 bulbs plus 75 kg of daffodil bulbs (supplied by Taylors) for planting in a number of areas in Canbury Gardens, where they will bring some colour to otherwise rather dull corners;
  • Organised a work-day on Saturday 12th December 2015 to plant the bulbs (see CARA Events for details);
  • Signed up to the London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network (LFN), the London network for Friends and User Groups of all green open spaces, and attended its meetings at City Hall;
  • Joined The Conservation Volunteers - a potentially useful source of volunteers and advice;
  • Signed up to London In Bloom "It's Your Neighbourhood" (2016);
  • Applied to Grow Wild for funding for native plants in Canbury Gardens, to fill many gaps and bring colour to some of the shadier sections (unsuccessfully, as we learnt in February 2016 - but useful practice!);
  • Begun talking to local developers and other potential sources of funds about funding for some of the bigger infrastructure improvements needed in the Gardens;
  • Begun looking into using the disused gardeners' yard (pictured below right) in Canbury Gardens for a community (edible?) garden - perhaps growing some vegetables, fruit and herbs, and maybe some bee-friendly wild flowers too (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYNvw1njsgE for a short intro and links to sustainable gardening); if you are interested in helping with this transformation, please join the Canbury Community Garden Facebook page;
  • Met with Young Placeshapers, who have done voluntary work in and around the Gardens;
  • Liaised with the Canbury Gardens Working Party, the Council’s officers and contractors Quadron about proposed projects in the Gardens;
  • Set up a steering group and had a first meeting, allocated some tasks and potential projects...

Canbury Gardens is Metropolitan Open Land which gives it some protection - see this CARA Factsheet for more information about MOLs. And click here for a March 2106 CPRELondon report into threats to London's green spaces.

Our parent body, CARA, has a long history of organising voluntary work (litter-picking, bulb-planting, wild-flower seeding, maintenance tasks...) in and around the Gardens.

Gardening alongside other people brings health and wellbeing benefits, as well as benefits to the local environment. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/today_in_your_garden/community_about.shtml http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/8151638/Allotments-really-are-good-for-your-health.html http://www.nsalg.org.uk/allotment-info/benefits-of-allotment-gardening/ http://www.ncl.ac.uk/guru/documents/EWP47.pdf http://www.gardeningmatters.org/sites/default/files/Multiple%20Benefits_2012.pdf http://www.gardendallas.org/benefits.htm

See also http://e-voice.org.uk/greenerkingston/living-landscapes/we-need-trees/ for the many benefits of trees, parks and other green spaces for our health, wellbeing, air quality, enjoyment of nature... and http://e-voice.org.uk/greenerkingston/living-landscapes/protecting-local-green-spaces/ fo advice on protecting local green spaces.

Some nice short films about Canbury Gardens and its users, made by Young Placeshapers in Spring 2016, at http://www.environmenttrust.co.uk/stories-our-park