Fieldgate Lane in Mitcham has been given a makeover thanks to the council’s new Love Your Street campaign.
Working in partnership with Sustainable Merton and Barratt Homes, the council’s clean team helped local residents to transform the site, which was previously run down, littered and disused, into an urban orchard that can be enjoyed by the whole community for years to come.
Over the past few weeks, the council, Sustainable Merton and Barratt Homes have worked together to clear the site to make it ready for this family planting and clean-up event. In total, 50 people from Merton Council, Sustainable Merton, Circle Housing Merton Priory, Merton Chamber of Commerce, The Baitful Futuh Mosque and local residents came along to plant a variety of fruit trees and bushes including Merton variety apple trees, plum, pear, gooseberry, and raspberry, alongside flowerbeds containing herbs and other plants.
This event took place as part of a programme of Love Your Street clean up sessions. Starting last month and running until July, this programme of borough-wide clean-up events will see the council’s clean team working with Street Champions, Merton Matters, Sustainable Merton, community groups and residents to spruce up local neighbourhoods over the spring and summer months. The first spruce-up event took place in St Helier which saw over 30 bags of litter collected by volunteers and the council’s clean team.
The Love Your Street campaign, which is kindly sponsored by eddisonwhite estate agents, marks the council’s new approach in its ongoing fight against people littering and fly-tipping by boosting the positive work it does with residents, businesses, community groups and schools across the borough. As well as spending over £5million keeping Merton’s streets clean every year, educating people about the effects of environmental crime and being tougher on people who drop litter, this campaign is the latest initiative in the council’s anti-litter campaign. This follows the council’s partnership with environmental enforcement specialists, on-the-spot penalty charge notices, use of Glutton machines in town centres, the installation of special gum and cigarette butt bins across the borough and new high tech smart bins in parks.
Mayor of Merton, Councillor Agatha Akyigyina said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the family planting day at Fieldgate Lane. Well done to everyone involved and I hope the new urban orchard is enjoyed by the whole community.”
Director of Environment and Regeneration, Chris Lee said: “The Love Your Street campaign is all about the community working together to keep Merton clean and to take pride in where we live. This project at Fieldgate Lane is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when the council, community groups and residents work together. Well done to everyone involved and I would particularly like to thank Sustainable Merton, members of our clean team and Barratt Homes whose partnership working has helped to transform this piece of disused land into something the local community can enjoy for years to come.”
Sustainable Merton’s Tom Walsh said: “I am particularly pleased with this project because it shows just how much can be achieved by genuine partnership. As well as all those mentioned, we had vouchers from Asda and Lidl as well as a very generous donation of plants from Wyvale Garden centre. The actual event allowed people from all parts of the community to work together to create something beautiful from a once fly tipped waste land and all who took part felt a pride in doing that. Through the Dig Merton and Love Your Street campaigns, there is no reason why this story can’t be repeated across the borough.”
Photos from the event can be seen on the council’s Flickr page.
Note to editors
Other upcoming Love Your Street events:
- Saturday 9 May, 10am-12pm: Figges Marsh, Framfield Road and Manship Road meeting at Framfield Road junction with Figges Marsh
- Wednesday 27 May, 10am-12pm: Merton High Street service slip road, Haydon Road Recreation Ground, Trafalgar Road meeting at Haydons Road Recreation Park in Haydons Road
- Wednesday 3 June, 10am-12pm: Moreton Green and surrounding area meeting at the play area
- Saturday 4 July, 10am-12pm: Area around Dundonald Road tram stop and Dundonald Park, meeting at Dundonald Park by the pavilion
All of the clean-ups are open to everyone and to attend, people can show up on the day or let the council know by calling 0208 545 3189 and leaving a message.