'Time for some guerrilla gardening in Highgate' 

Guerilla gardeners at Pond Square, Highgate

Guerrilla gardeners at Pond Square, Highgate - Credit: Highgate Society

The Highgate Society’s community projects group has recently started to run "guerrilla" gardening sessions.

So far, we have covered the flower beds around the Pond Square toilets building but are keen to expand our reach. We have seen many open spaces which can become overgrown and fall outside the normal maintenance programmes of Haringey and Camden councils.  

The model for these new gardening sessions has been the monthly litter picking events we have run for several years. These have focused on areas where rubbish can build up, such as the woodland between Shepherds Hill and Priory Gardens or parts of Queen’s Wood. In a similar way we now plan to care for open spaces that would benefit from some pruning or weeding.  

Guerilla gardening in Pond Square

Having fresh air and fun 'guerrilla gardening' in Pond Square - Credit: Highgate Society

The community projects group "green fingers" initiative was originally inspired by a local lady who has planted and looked after flowers and shrubs on the small roundabout outside Highgate School for many years. Passers-by have been impressed by the cheerful plants there each spring.

Our group is open to anyone and can be very rewarding. Some people relish the exercise and the chance to get a breath of fresh air. Others are keen to find a practical way to do something positive for the neighbourhood and protect patches of land that add character to the area. Whatever spurs you on, it is a great opportunity to meet a range of local people away from the pressures of the workplace.  

We are on the lookout for more unloved spaces across the Highgate area. We need to be able to carry out work safely and of course not double up in areas already covered by the councils.  

Please do let us know of any suitable spaces in the public realm. Better still please join us. Details of future sessions are on our Highgate Society website: HighgateSociety.com.  

Andrew Sulston, Highgate Society

Andrew Sulston asks for residents help keep areas looking good - Credit: Highgate Society

Our next one will be to mark the National Civic Action day on Saturday, June 18, from 2.30pm to 4pm, to do some gardening on the land at the corner of Archway Road and Muswell Hill Road – opposite the Woodman Pub.

We will provide waste bags, hi-vis tops and a limited number of gardening tools. We also arrange for the removal of the bags at the end. Please do bring protective gloves, secateurs and forks (large or small) if you have them. Email Infrastructure@HighgateSociety.com for details.  

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Andrew Sulston is a Highgate Society council member and leads on community projects.