Creating Katherine Buchan Meadow TYS2
Essentially the green is a busy, bustling, chattering passing through space; locals striding off to work and home again, teachers and children noisily hurrying to and from school, local dogs out to stretch their legs, it has a daily rhythm and purpose BUT it has become a sadly neglected space; the timber retaining wall is breaking down, the litter bin gone, the boundary fence is shoddy and bare, the shrubs removed and never replaced. Those that are left contribute nothing, behind the large laurel hedge you can’t be seen sitting on the broken benches but the evidence is there left behind on the ground or thrown into the overgrown shrub.
However, this could be a beautiful open light airy space enhancing the experience of all who are passing through and live nearby whilst introducing and encouraging a diversity of wildlife. Creating a truly communal space connecting the local community and St Marks Primary school through the research, development and stewardship of the green.
What we’ll do:
- Remove the existing shrubs and two smaller trees
- Take out timber retaining wall, in fill extending the existing mound.
- Re-route and relay the main path way.
- Placing a seat along the newly surfaced path and around a tree.
- Plant a beech hedge around the boundaries adjacent to the resident car parks.
- Sow a pictorial meadow.
- Plant bulbs for Spring.
- Provide stag beetle specific habitat.
- Lighting – solar powered up lighting.
- Incorporate sympathetic litter bin.
- Install decorative black iron bollard and rail to road boundaries.
Why it’s a great idea:
This project will provide an opportunity for the community to enjoy having a communal heart especially with a number of local residents not having gardens and it could provide a place to relieve the isolation some in the community may feel at times by providing a welcoming open space in which to sit and maybe pass the time of day with someone by chance.
The intention is to encourage residents to form a’ Friends of’ to look after the development of the meadow going forward, recording the appearance of wildlife using the space, the success of the flora in attracting which species, monitoring the stage beetles habit and engaging with St Marks pupils encouraging the schools involvment, benefitting a number of the curricular requirements and offering the children a positive experience of being involved as part of the wider community. Offering a local artist/ student to lead an environmental art installation inspired by artists such as Andrew Goldsworthy and Rob Mulholland.
How we’ll get it done:
- Survey and design completed/
- Consult with local botanist and biodiversity expert.
- Engage with the local rangers using their expertise to advise community engagement with the meadow.
- Work with the local community to ensure inclusive engagement.
- Work with teachers to develop strategies that may work for the schools engagement.
- Working with a locally based contractor for major groundworks aswell as community work party.
With the coming of cross rail this close knit residential area has become increasingly popular, the population of the school continues to grow and with that an increase in traffic turning into to this small area of Old Hanwell.
The design of the pictorial meadow we hope will redress the imbalance caused by the population growth that this area is experiencing, being an oasis of calm and tranquility in which to sit and reflect.