The Wild Wanstead tree pit planting initiative has really caught fire, with some 40 roads now taking part.
One of the striking things about the initiative is that it brings people out from behind their front doors to participate in the community.
When we first did the planting around Snaresbrook in 2014, it was noticeable how some people thought it was someone coming in from outside to “do” the job for them. In reality, although the council funded the purchase of the seeds, the actual planting was all done on a voluntary basis by local people.
The latest Wild Wanstead effort has further built up those community links. It is important that not only do people reconnect with the nature around them but also those equally organic community links are made with our neighbours.
Street parties are another great way of bringing community alive. In my road, we have had a street party for the past couple of years. The event has been a great success with the street cut off from traffic for the afternoon, allowing people to take charge of the whole street. Children play on the road, parents eat and drink together. There is music, The street party here has really worked, to the extent that it is not long after the event is over in September that people start asking when the next one will be.
It is these type of initiatives we need to build on in Wanstead going forward, reconnecting with people and nature. Break down those barriers real or imagined and reaching out to each other in pursuit of the common good