At Cordwainers Grow

we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to engage creatively in the natural world that surrounds them. Our projects are focused on connecting communities with nature and the environment to develop values that promote respect for both people and planet.

#gardenmanifesto

 

Six Ways to Protect Hackney’s Community Gardens

 

We have joined up with the Dalston Curve and Daubeney Community Gardens as well as other local gardeners to put together a manifesto for action to promote and protect community gardens in Hackney. 

We need as many gardens in Hackney to sign up to the manifesto and support it in any way they can so that we have a bigger, stronger voice when it comes to the council’s local plans, London-wide strategies as well as the scheme to make London a National Park. We need small community spaces to be recognised as valuable assets – and for us to be listened to.

We will have an action event at the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden 3pm on 28th July to get as many signatures as possible.  .

Hackney’s community gardens do not stop Hackney’s development; they are a solution to the challenges of its growing population.

We want to highlight the benefits that we all know about and want to share with others.  We want to promote and celebrate how community gardens are an asset to the whole community by improving our physical and mental health, by providing informal and safe places for outdoor learning; reducing social isolation by bringing communities together; improving the environment through providing habitats and food for wildlife, reducing flooding and (at the moment) overheating.  Not to mention food-growing…

We’ll be running a 20 day online campaign showing how marvellous we all are. Please send us any photos you have of your garden or one you visit and we’ll post them via @EasternCurve and @CordwainersGrow Ideally, we’d like 20 photos and/or quotes. Email them to us or info@kitsykinane.com

If anyone can think of a good hashtag, let us know.  Otherwise we’ll stick with #gardenmanifesto

So… here it is:

A MANIFESTO FOR HACKNEY COMMUNITY GARDENS

We will protect and strengthen our community gardens by:

1. Mapping all Hackney’s community gardens.
2. Developing a set of quality standards for Hackney’s community gardens to include principles around community purpose, accessibility and inclusiveness, safety, gardening for wildlife and environmental sustainability.
3. Lobbying Hackney Council to designate all community gardens which meet quality standards as protected local green spaces (incorporated as policy in the new Hackney Local Plan and identified in any new Area Action Plans).
4. Lobbying Hackney Council to establish a fund to support community gardens to create a better borough green infrastructure.
5. Working with communities to identify sites for community gardens and help set up new gardens so that more people can access growing spaces in the future.
6. Lobbying the Greater London Authority to incorporate Hackney’s community gardens into a protected and supported network of green spaces as part of the London National Park City.

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Nearly half of 11 year-olds in Hackney are obese or overweight and junk food is, of course, part of the problem.  We all know that we shouldn’t eat junk but we still eat junk so how do we resist? Our scheme, Not What You Get,  doesn’t tell children how to eat healthily.  Instead we look at how powerful advertising is in persuading  children to make unhealthy choices – through branding, packaging, product placement, games, cartoon characters and so on. Our idea is that if children could recognise and question how they are targeted, the strategies food companies use to get them to buy and eat their food and how they don’t tell them the whole truth, they might just make different decisions. To be honest, we wanted them to be a bit indignant about how they are used by the food industry and once we showed them how advertising can be misleading they said they felt ‘betrayed’ by ‘false’ advertising and want to make changes – for advertising to be more honest.  We’re not saying everyone is going to stop eating crisps or chocolate, but that if they can recognise the subtleties and subterfuge of advertising strategies they will be better equipped to decide what to eat.

We have developed lesson plans and teaching materials if you would like us to run a class or classes in your school or youth club.  More information here: NotWhatYouGet Programme1  Email hello@cordwainersgrow.org.uk if you would like more information. 


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Cordwainers Garden at the London College of Fashion, 182 Mare St, E83RE or Unit 16, Celia Feinnes House, 8-20 Well St, E9 7PX (By the traffic lights).