While I was in London last night, I had to take a walk to try and find the car park I had planned to use.
While doing so, I came across the (closed at the time) Union Street Urban Orchard. I think it’s a fantastic idea :
Designed by Heather Ring of the Wayward Plant Registry and built with the help of Bankside Open Spaces Trust and an array of other helpful volunteers the garden will regenerate a disused site in Bankside and create a place for exchange between local residents and visitors to the Festival.
As the above quote from the site says, they’ve taken a disused site on Union Street, and created an urban orchard in it. They’ve recycled pallets, tyres, wood, glass and more to make the orchard. Sadly it’s only in situ until the middle of August- although at that point the trees from the orchard will be transplanted to three or four other sites around Bankside.
Personally I’d like to see this done far more often, creating valuable green/growing space in disused plots and areas throughout cities. Of course I realise that London prices are huge and the cost of those plots is almost certainly prohibitive – but at the same time if you can make use of those disused plots that aren’t doing anything anyway, well why not?
If all else fails, I think that local authorities could/should do a CPO on some of these disused plots, and actually make solid use of those plots for the local community.
The Union Street Urban Orchard is a fantastic project. I hope it puts ideas in the heads of a lot more people.