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The Voice - July 2021

Comment by Geoff

Geoff Juden

The East London Garden Society has become more of a campaigning group than ever before. Although we still retain a keen interest in gardening it has become necessary to ensure we have a better environment in which all gardeners can continue their passion.

The Bethnal Green mulberry tree is a good example because to destroy our urban landscape without a thought for what we lose has to be wrong. We will continue to campaign on your behalf to retain our environment for future generations. We hope you agree.

If you value having someone campaign on your behalf to protect the environment and having access to useful articles about gardening and local environmental matters, please make a donation to help us with the cost of maintaining The East London Garden Society.

Extinct Orchid Discovered in London

Extinct orchid

An orchid thought to be extinct in the UK has been discovered on a rooftop of an eleven storey London bank. The small-flowered tongue-orchid has not been recorded in the UK since 1989.

They previously existed in a Cornish colony which was destroyed through land mismanagement in 2009, leading to the assumption that the flower was now extinct in the UK. Somehow a seed is thought to have arrived from elsewhere to produce this plant.

Let's hope that mankind can preserve this second attempt by nature.

Plastic Instead of Trees

With & without trees

The Bethnal Green Mulberry Tree has come to signify a malaise in urban towns and cities and is a prime example of where those in power are going wrong. 

Trees, that in some cases have been with us for many hundreds of years, are at risk because of bad planning consent for development irrespective of the effect it will have on the environment and the local inhabitants. However, as much as this case attracted attention to the problem, many other situations around the UK are being challenged every day.

Cavell Street Gardens in Whitechapel is another example. Ten trees, which represent 40% of the tree cover, are to be lost since The London Borough of Tower Hamlets wish to install a 20-foot square of Astro turf for the benefit of local children from a private school.

We should be retaining as much of our local environment as possible. It has been shown in other areas of the world that it is possible to allow nature to be in harmony with humanity. But the London Borough of Tower Hamlets seem unable to do this and consider the removal of trees for a plastic alternative is more important.

If the trees in Cavell Street Gardens are felled and replaced with plastic what kind of future are we leaving these children and we are setting them a bad example of what should be done to protect their future environment. The image above says it all.

Protection of Trees and Parks

Tree removal

There is protection for trees (TPO) and protection for grade listed ancient monuments, plus important buildings. These are all a part of our heritage, our history, and our reason for being here.

Work undertaken on historic and ancient buildings is usually restoration but in some circumstances it may be considerably more, in which case the building must keep its original look.

For grade listed parks and trees with protection orders, the requirement is different. They are at the whim of a local authority as to whether they survive or not. The listing is a status in law, not a legal obligation. Therefore, a local authority may grant continued protection or dispense with the listing status at will when it suits them.

For this reason, The East London Garden Society has raised a petition to ask that protected trees and grade listed parks must be afforded the same protection in law as for grade listed buildings.

If you agree, please give your support now by signing the petition.

Blair's Garden

Blair's garden

The space adjacent to Blair’s property was strewn with fridges, bits of old motorbikes and all kinds of rubbish. However, Blair had a passion and was certain the area could be made good to improve the environment.

The transformation of a rubbish dump into a garden is amazing. As well as vision it needs an aptitude to make things better, but with a little bit of flair and energetic work this area of London has become a place to cherish.

It just shows what can be achieved, and if Blair can do it, so can we.

Cooking in a Different Way ‐ Dandelion Bread Pudding

Treat yourself to dandelion bread pudding with sundried tomato and gruyere cheese.



To serve: Cut into squares, or use biscuit cutters for making small plate servings.

Finally ...

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