Childs Hill gardening project brings community together
- Credit: Teresa Casal
Childs Hill neighbours are coming together to tackle air pollution and brighten up the streets by planting flowers and trees.
Childs Hill Community Gardening has raised over £700 to make the area "greener for people, plants and wildlife", with volunteers meeting weekly to plant trees and flowers.
Organiser Teresa Casal, 60, set up the community gardening project after moving to the area four years ago.
She told the Ham&High: "When I arrived on Church Walk, I noticed the kids walking to and from school and nursery and worried about the impact of air and noise pollution.
"I started to think about how we could get more trees here and managed to get the council onboard.
"Not only do the plants mitigate air pollution, but it also brings people of all ages together – people that want to learn more about gardening, or just want to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air."
The former banker, who later retrained as an executive coach and yoga teacher, praised the role of her partner, Jonathan Stanley, who she called a "plant expert", in organising the project.
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In October, 16-year-old Anton Diamond began gardening with the group as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award.
"It makes my heart jump for joy," Teresa said. "The vicar of All Saints' Church, Robin Sims-Williams, is a huge supporter and another kind neighbour, Brian, has lived in the area for over 40 years and is the ultimate community gardener, always turning up in sun or rain."
She thanked Elaine Collins, head of Jack & Jill Preschool, who has cared for the All Saints Church Memorial Garden for over 30 years.
"Lots of wonderful things are going on, thanks to our volunteers," Teresa said. "I've done nothing compared to some other people here."
Barnet Council's chair of the environment committee, Cllr Dean Cohen, said: “It’s always a pleasure to work with the Friends of Childs Hill Park. We can confirm that we’ve planted a number of new trees in the area, and that we recently opened a new picnic area for Childs Hill Park.
"We’re delighted to invest in our parks to make them better spaces for everyone to enjoy.”
The Childs Hill Community Gardening group meets every Thursday at All Saints Church at 9.30.
More information is available on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/891333651334300
Donations can be made on Justgiving: https://tinyurl.com/childshill