It’s easy to take certain things in life for granted – at work, at home, in our local environment. We get used to things being the way they are. And then suddenly they might change very quickly, leaving us reeling. Last year my neighbours cut down a beautiful fruit tree which used to blossom in their front garden. I’m sure they had their reasons. Perhaps it cut out their light. Still, I miss that tree.
In London we can never assume our green space is going to stay green. We are constantly on the back foot as time and again developers come after land we thought belonged to the local community.
And so it is with Northfields allotments, where Tom and I share a plot. It will come within the 10% of the allotments which Pathways, the housing charity that owns the allotments, plans to build on. They are aiming to create 18 new social homes for the elderly and four private homes for sale. For Halloween the plot holders got together to hold a pumpkin trail running through the allotments, to raise awareness of what will be lost if we don’t prevent the building work. Thousands of people turned up to see the pumpkins and enjoy hot soup, mulled wine and a BBQ, plus face painting, a tombola and cake/jam/honey stalls.
Here’s a few photos of the allotments so you can see their beauty too. The Chief Executive of Pathways has suggested we could have allotments on the roofs of the new homes, but we can hardly relocate our apple and cherry tree up there.
The photo above was taken using a FLIR thermal camera for the iPhone. It’s a very light little camera. I want to take more photos using it as the season goes on, to see how the cluster moves over winter. Need to read the manual some more though as I think I’m not using it to its full capabilities. Phillip has done a useful post on ‘Beekeeping with a Flir One for Android‘ on his Mud Songs blog – a great blog about beekeeping in chilly Newfoundland by the way.
These allotments are home to stag beetles, birds, bees, butterflies and many other vulnerable small creatures. They’re a wildlife haven in a busy urban area. It’s so sad to think of losing them. We do need more affordable homes and social housing but should we destroy all our green space to do so?
To read more about the proposed development, see:
- Dean Court Redevelopment – Pathways website info on the proposals
- Northfields Allotments under threat – local news article on the allotments
- Thousands enjoy spooky goings on at Northfields allotments – all about the Halloween pumpkin trail
- Save Northfields Allotments – Facebook page set up by the allotments committee