Why have a Community Garden on a Roundabout?

As part of Jamie’s Home Schooling experience he helped us start a new community garden on Swan Corner roundabout, outside Swanshurst school.

He reported in 2014:

On Tuesday, I went with Marcus Belben to Swan Corner, bringing plants, gardening tools and wood chippings. Swan Corner is a community project to improve the area around the Brook Lane/Wheelers Lane roundabout, started by Marcus and supported by residents and organisations including Swanshurst School. We were expecting a group from the school to come and help, and sure enough,  the girls soon arrived. Marcus explained the jobs for today; the group would split in two, one planting trees, the other planting flowers.

The flower group were planting near the noticeboard created by a local sculptor, Graham Jones.

I mostly stayed with the tree group, where I took pictures of the various stages. Finally, at twenty past two, we were finished; all trees and flowers planted, all holes filled in. It was a job well done!

The main problem concerning residents and the school was parking and traffic, which is as it should be, given the nature of the number of accidents and problems at the roundabout.  Taking action and planting on our roundabout led to further discussion and the forming of ‘Swan Corner Community Group’.  This group led local consultation with Highways which enlarged the roundabout to reduce traffic speeds and put in place bollards to reduce parking on pavements where it was dangerous and where it blocked local residents drives.  Local residents still work with Swanshurst school, leading workshops to develop conversations about local issues.

 

Graham’s swan Sculpture, designed by Swanshurst school, planted by local residents

Jamie Planting a tree outside the Billesley Pub

Oak framed noticeboard made by Graham Jones

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4th April 2016  |  Marcus Belben