The initiative aims to help as many residents as possible to enjoy the many benefits of working on local land – which could be anything from a park, a verge on the corner of an alleyway, to a flower bed that needs a bit of TLC… i.e. an area of land that could be put to better use than it is at present.
Our very own Tom Walsh has said: “There are already a few movers and shakers in Merton turning their green fingers to good work for the community and they are getting involved in planting fruit, vegetables and wild flowers on public land across the borough. We know that there are people who really want to get involved in these types of projects and Dig Merton is a great way to get started.”
Along with ourselves, other organisations already ‘digging for Merton’ include Merton Priory Homes, Merton Chamber of Commerce and the May Project Gardens (plus others).
Based on agreed funding from the London Borough of Merton and discussions about moving the project forward, it has been decided that Sustainable Merton’s role will include working with all other partner stakeholders and to clarify the roles that each of these will adopt during this pilot year. We have been assigned the position of Project Manager and will co-ordinate with Merton Council to engage with the public/advise them on how they can get involved, as well working with their communications team and partner stakeholders to actively promote and record the progress of 5 pilot projects at various sites. The pilots will receive practical and logistical support from us to maximise their prospects of their success and we will be submitting a report on them and the overall Dig Merton initiative to the council. Finally, and importantly, it will be our job to examine opportunities for broadening this exciting new project using funds from external sources.
On 29th March 2014, Tom Walsh led the project’s launch event at De Burgh Road, South Wimbledon. A team of more than 30 hard working volunteers joined Sustainable Merton begin ‘digging for Merton’ on this area of land situated within a popular cut-through in the local neighbourhood. Six young fruit trees, including apple trees were planted, along with hundreds of bulbs to enhance the site and we also had help installing four bird boxes to provide nesting sites for robins and tits.
Local residents turned out in force to support the event and we very much look forward to continue working with them on this and other projects in the area!
We hope you too get behind the project to help promote community food growing and a greener Merton!
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