Search

Community gardeners distraught as prize-winning flowerbeds in West Hampstead are ripped up by council

11:01 17 January 2014

The flowerbeds in bloom before council workers had ripped them up

The flowerbeds in bloom before council workers had ripped them up

Archant

Community gardeners praised by the Royal Horticultural Society have had hundreds of hours of volunteer work laid to waste after the council ripped up all of their prize-winning flower beds.

The Kingsgate Garden Club – made up of residents, shopkeepers, and volunteers across West Hampstead and Kilburn – won awards for its work in transforming sites across the area with its colourful flower displays.

Police officers from the Safer Neighbourhoods Team and even councillors had joined about a dozen volunteers planting 18 beds over four sites off West End Lane.

But their painstaking work, which began in 2011 and was recognised with awards from London In Bloom and the It’s Your Neighbourhood competitions, was ruined in less than an hour as Camden Council workers ripped up the flowerbeds as part of their winter clearance over the Christmas period.

Ajay Kumble, the garden club organiser, said he and fellow volunteers were disappointed but not surprised by the action.

“I was sitting in the park about a week before Christmas and one of the council workers walked past me with all our plants dumped in his wheelbarrow,” he said.

“This was a project to bring back some village pride.

“We’ve had continued problems with crime, litter and dog mess in the area and we hoped brightening the place up may help.

“But now we’ll have to start all over again.

“We were warned something like this could happen. So what’s particularly galling is that I have, on a continued basis, been in touch with the council and various other parks teams to make sure they were aware of what we were doing.

“But there seems to have been a serious miscommunication in the council somewhere.

“The CEO of London In Bloom was so impressed with our work during his previous visit he said he’d be coming back next month.

“Now I’m not sure we’ll have anything to show him.”

The group has now embarked on replanting the destroyed beds to undo the damage with the help of children from nearby community centres.

A spokesman said the council was investigating the issue.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

6 minutes ago
Police officers investigating the death of pensioner Philip Silverstone at Spencer House sheltered flats in Belsize Park Gardens last year. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A man on trial for murdering a Belsize pensioner in his own home has been found dead in his prison cell.

14:33
Barmaid Natalia Czekaj was stabbed to death at her home

Drinkers at a pub in West Hampstead have launched a fundraising appeal to help repatriate the body of a former barmaid found stabbed to death at her home.

18 minutes ago
Dr Michael Jacobs and Pauline Cafferkey, who has made a complete recovery from Ebola and been discharged from the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. Picture: Scotland on Sunday/Lisa Ferguson

A Scottish nurse who was being treated for Ebola at the Royal Free Hospital has made a complete recovery and is now free of the virus.

Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena leaves Southwark Crown Court. Picture: PA

A young mother who allegedly had female genital mutilation (FGM) performed on her at the Whittington Hospital was “let down” by medics, a midwife has told jurors.

Most read news

Flights are being cancelled, schools are being closed, and America’s northeast is getting prepared for a lot of snow.

Cinematic classics get a right-wing twist from Twitter. The results are thoroughly amusing.

Michael Brown, 71, says his work to protect women from domestic abuse has helped him deal with the grief felt over his daughter’s death.

Columbia’s Paulina Vega scoops the top prize, pushing Miss USA Nia Sanchez and Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha into the runners-up spots.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder