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The Voice - May 2021

Comment by Geoff

Geoff Juden

It is essential that all of us are aware of the importance of protecting our environment since it is now become more challenging than ever.

Allotments are already few and far between, community gardens are at the discretion of the local authorities, and our green urban spaces are being used for development.

We can’t rely on those we elect to ensure these green spaces are protected, so it’s up to us. Please make your voice heard by signing petitions and lobbying your elected representatives whenever you can.

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.

Why Trees Should be Protected in Law

Tree destruction

The unauthorised trimming of 200-year-old oak trees on a proposed housing site in Huddersfield could lead to court action. Scores of trees off Hermitage Park in Lepton, have been cut back without the knowledge or the permission of the landowner.

Council chiefs say they are looking into the aggressive cutting back of scores of trees off Hermitage Park in Lepton, which was done without the knowledge or the permission of the landowner. 

The 31-acre site is the property of Lord Dartmouth, forming part of the Dartmouth Estate and is earmarked for hundreds of new houses as part of Kirklees Council’s Local Plan.

If you have not already done so, please sign the Petition. The more that sign, the more likely Government will act. So please sign now.

Read More and Sign this Petition

Wild Garlic (Allium Ursinum)

Wild garlic is one of a number of plant species whose presence indicates that a wood is ancient. It has traditionally been used in medicine, the bulb being one of the key ingredients in tonics for rheumatic problems and high cholesterol.

It is also a popular foraged ingredient. Its leaves can be eaten raw in salads, or blanched and used in place of spinach, or made into a delicious soup and pesto. They have a mild garlic flavour and are at their best before the flowers appear. The flowers are also edible and can be added raw to salads.

A delicious sign of the old, wild garlic is also known as ramsons. Look for them in shady woods where they coat the woodland floor in spring. It is a medium-sized bulbous perennial with a distinctive and pungent garlicky smell that pervades woodland in the Spring.

The leaves are long, pointed and oval in shape with un-toothed edges. They grow from the plant base and the bulb and have a strong garlic scent. 

The flowers are small and white with six petals on a thin stalk. Around 25 flowers form each rounded flower cluster which is held high on a single, leafless stalk.

Wild garlic reproduces through bulbs, bulbils and very occasionally seeds. The seeds are two to three mm long, flattish on one side, black and are dispersed when the parts of the plant above ground die down.

Not to be confused with lily-of-the-valley when not in flower, although the leaves of wild garlic grow from the plant base whereas lily-of-the-valley has two or three leaves on its stem.

When in flower, lily-of-the-valley is easily distinguishable from wild garlic as it has bell-shaped, white flowers. Lily-of-the-valley is poisonous so be sure to fully identify wild garlic before foraging.

Wild garlic is an ancient-woodland-indicator plant. If you spot it while you're out exploring, it could be a sign you're standing in a rare and special habitat.

The London Greenways

First there was The Shoreditch Forest Garden, then The Great Eastern Parks Route. Now we have The London Greenways. This is a joint initiative led by London Ramblers supported by CPRE London, London Living Streets, London Sustrans, Long Distance Walkers Association, and National Trust London.

To find out more about how to support this campaign, email:

The Shoreditch Forest Garden had morphed into The Great Eastern Parks Route, which in turn has been taken up by The London Greenways. It is important that we are able to see and enjoy all that surrounds us.

We can all enjoy our green space with its nature and it is the most precious in London but it is currently under threat. The importance of nature can never be quantified. Therefore, walking/rambling through London is now a step nearer and we can all learn something new.

'To Be or Not to Be'

Well known words from Shakespeare's Hamlet.

There are many words and phrases we can use when our environment is destroyed because laws are broken.

An example is The Limehouse Triangle when crimes against protected species were undertaken by Tower Hamlets Council in order to pursue development without following the accepted procedures. 

As such, bat roosts were taken down and ecology reports were not raised until after the area was cleared of all biodiversity.

It has since proved difficult to engage with the authorities who are there to protect residents from the excesses of authority. But it is important to protect our environment since it affects everyone.

The matter now has to be heard by the ultimate authority, the courts of law. However, the cost of doing so can be prohibitive for a local group or an individual.

It seems therefore that the protection of our cherished and diminishing local environment is in the hands of those who wish to fell our trees and build on our nature reserves with impunity.

Cooking in a Different Way ‐ Wild Garlic & Wilted Greens



Put the greens and garlic in a sauté pan over a medium heat and stir with tongs. Add a splash of water and wilt for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the sherry vinegar to the pan and reduce for one minute.

Add the butter and season with sea salt and black pepper.

Toss to coat in the buttery juices and serve immediately.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas et metus.

Finally ...

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