Monday, 30 May 2011


There's a tremendous spirit of cooperation in the green sector at the moment.  Gardeners have always been very generous with their ideas, knowledge, and plants, but would organisations have been quite so willing to join forces for the common good 5 or 10 years ago?

The latest meeting of GreenLINK brought together representatives of nearly 30 organisations. Five members reported on a recent meeting with government. The minister had found it refreshing that their focus was on community greenspace rather than on the needs of individual organisations.

The GreenLINK meetings are also a great opportunity to find out more about other organisations. The Federation of CIty Farms and Community Gardens for example, gave a short presentation that prompted me to have a look at their website I particularly liked the New Trends in Food Growing page.

The need to train the gardeners of the future and to provide more opportunities for those who have already embarked on their career were just 2 of the concerns aired when I joined the Chairmen of Devon and Cornwall Garden Trusts at the National Trust's Cornwall office at Lanhydrock.  The meeting was organised by Adam Clarke (Opeing All the Gates He's hoping to find ways in which the County Garden Trusts and the National Trust (NT) can work more closely together.  He's starting in the south west and will see how things progress.  The immediate and very positive result was that Devon GardensTrust now has a direct link with the NT. This should give them another opportunity to connect with possible candidates for their training bursary scheme, the details of which are on their website   

The precis and conclusion of the Gardens Trusts' Working Together Feasibility Study should be available soon.  I wonder whether anyone realised just how useful the preparatory joint meetings of the AGT, The Garden History Society, the Garden Museum and Parks and Gardens UK (PGDS) would be?  Even before we read the final summary, all 4 organisations have a far better understanding of each other than could have been possible before.

On a slightly less positive note, I went along to one of the many Roadshow Consultations set up by the Department of Transport about the proposed route of the High Speed 2 rail link.  If it goes ahead, this Y-shaped line will initially link London to Birmingham, slicing its way through Buckinghamshire as it goes.  The information was slickly presented but, for those of us with an interest in historic designed landscapes, there wasn't enough detail to completely dispel any worries.  I'm investigating further.  You might like to do the same. The Chilterns AONB site provides useful links to the consultation dates and the many reports produced on the project.

The 'Love Parks Week' took kit is available for downloading from the GreenSpace website.  I've downloaded mine - that was the easy bit.  Now I have to think of an idea for an event - not so easy.  I'm hoping that my dog walking friends will have some bright ideas.

Rain in the south east at last...

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