Support Cranbrook gardening

I warmly recommend the neighbouring Cranbrook estate gardening project because they have got sizeable plots and a lot of gardening space, which can support bees, bugs and environmentally friendly resources.

I think that bees need larger areas of garden plants to thrive. I support the Cranbrook project. The difference between Cranbrook and Parkview is that Parkview has no dedicated allotment like areas.

I do not support bees on Parkview because we have no sizeable garden area. On Parkview we have a few fruit trees and patches of wild flowers, that doesn’t give the bees a home area to roost in. Not a lot of people do use their balcony or window box planters on Parkview either.

So please support the commendable Cranbrook project and the dates of their events are:

  • Saturday, 21. March 2020, 11:00 – 14:30 at Cranbrook estate. Planting pollinator patch, bug hotel and bee workshop.
  • Saturday, 25. April 2020, 11:00 – 14:30 at Cranbrook estate, Big Dig and Bird Pamper palace.

 

The TRA

I have to make a mention of the role of the TRA on the estate. Generally they run the Glasshouse. Previously the Miller family primarily ran the Glasshouse and as their business is related to hosting parties, of course the venue was used for many parties with loud amplified music.

A lot of locals liked the venue, I know of marriages, birthdays and all kinds of very happy celebrations taking part. The Millers are expert party hosts but unfortunately, the nature of the Glasshouse is that it is not sound-proof. Ray Miller has his own party company and you can still hire them, look up Ray’s parties, (so I believe) for parties at venues of your choice. Other local locations, which are more sound-proof, are the Tramshed or Cranbrook.

So the Millers left the venue and now we have another TRA. Though, I doubt that TRA is the correct expression, as there are no tenants involved any longer. The current (T)RA is mainly occupied with planting wild flowers, fruit bushes and trees and getting a beehive on one of the roofs. they work a lot togther with Hackney City Farm and increasingly Extinction Rebellion.

The farm is a great and much-loved asset to the area. I started a gardening project on this estate but the garden venue is very small and only very few people get the pleasure of using it, it is not widely appreciated. I just enjoy gardening my balcony and flower box. I do a little maintenance of plants around my flat, but think that landscape gardening should do the bulk of the work. I’ll do my best to post gardening tips for the flower pot gardener here.

A recent email received shows that the (T)RA are very much aware of problems caused by trees too near to buildings but they have done nothing to even complain about any structural issues on the estate. Problems caused by traffic were addressed by me through the Neighbourhood Watch connections. I had gates installed to stop fast bikers racing through the estate especially in mornings and mid-afternoon.

I left the committee of the (T)RA because I do not think it is efficient.

The Glasshouse is an important venue and dearly loved and must stay available for people to use. It started off as a laundry venue for the tenants when the estate was first built.

But, at the moment, the Glasshouse is occupied by a company at the ground-floor, who pay rent to the TRA and then Extinction Rebellion have it quite a lot. The sewing group, helps Extinction Rebellion sew props for their demos and they also meet there regularly.

I think that ordinary people who just want to hold social gathering without any political aim should also be allowed to use the Glasshouse. People just want to use the venue for occasions like birthdays, baby showers, other celebrations.  Some clubs also want to use it to provide sports like boxing, dancing etc. Unfortunately I was not able to have enough impact on this, as a member of the committee last year, so I have decided not to be part of the committee any longer.

The increasing use of Extinction Rebellion of the venue was introduced gradually and not many noticed it, they only now advertise themselves as friends of the Glasshouse and advertise the venue for meetings. The (T)RA also advertise climate talk meetings at the Glasshouse, which are in fact hosted by XR.

I think that a TRA, meaning Tenants and Residents Association truly needs to represent all tenants and residents and take up all issues on the estate. Any climate issues, must be addressed by individual change in behaviour and general governmental regulations. In practical terms our estate is mainly powerd by electricity and gas central heating. Perhaps and hopefully at some point that gas central heating will be replaced with more environmentally friendly options.

But, planting a few raspberry bushes and fruit trees, hardly makes up sustainability. It is more work than yield and you can get them easier in the local supermarkets. For the average working person, urban gardening is not the main focus.

If people want me to take up the issue of wanting to use the Glasshouse and they find, they cannot get enough support through the councillors, please get in touch. I have been dealing with issues on the estate since many years. The playground behind Mark House, I supported because when I saw young people climbing up the drain pipes and playing on rubbish chutes, I thought the playground improved the lives of younger people and their families.  Traffic is a big issue also and parking.

So, get in touch if you have issues that you feel cannot get addressed otherwise. I am politically neutral.

proposed Beehives

Just come off the phone with Tower Hamlets Homes, who assured me that a beehive will not be installed in the estate without prior and thorough consultation of all residents. Unfortunately the latest leaflet of the Residents Assocation is missleading.

I have contacted Tower Hamlets Homes about that and queried whether a full risk assessment had been carried out and whether residents had been consulted. Apparently some people are allergic to bees.

A full assessment will now be carried out.

Liveable streets

Survey now open from 2. March – 29. March online.

Drop in

  • Bonner Primary School, Stainsbury Street, London E2 0NF
    Wednesday 11. March 18:30 – 20:30

and/or

  • V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9PA
    Saturday 14. March 10:00 – 12pm

Our area was not included in the main Bethnal Green consultation but is included in phase 2, planned for 2020 – 2022 including :

  • Brick Lane
  • Barcantine
  • Shadwell
  • Old Ford Road West
  • Mile End West
  • East Ferry/St. John’s

Currently the council has started to consult on the Barcantine area.

liveable-streets-phase-2_edited

Our estate is included in the Old Ford Road West scheme, see map here.

Parents who consider applying for Gatehouse School have enquired about perspective changes and consultations but so far our area has not been directly consulted other than the cycle route consultation proposed from Victoria Park through to Mile End.

From a Neighbourhood Watch perspective it would be interesting to enquire how traffic around our estate affects crime numbers, I shall endeavour to do that.

I will be back to you, once the consultation on our area has started.

 

fruit tree planting

yellow wasp on blueberry

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

Whilst the Residents Association was one of the major opposition voices against the new housing development at the former Chest Hospital site, they are also the ones who act in contradiction of their own policies.

Petitions and callers came around our block to collect signatures because the proposed Chest Hospital housing development will reduce the light in our flats. But, at the same time the Residents Association proceeds to plant large fruit trees in front of people’s living rooms.

Two on a lawn outside Rosebery House, another one on a lawn behind Sankey House. Those trees don’t look like much now, but they will get pretty big and cut out all the light for the flat behind them. I have not been around the estate to see them all.

There are some great urban gardening schemes in the area because some areas have been parcelled off into smaller container- holding allotments. But on our estate we get this fruit tree all over concept.

The idea of our estate, which is land-scaped is to provide light for flats by creating that space of lawn in front of houses. If that lawn gets planted with lower trees, the light in flats will diminish considerably.

I don’t think it has been thought through properly and this also can affect the value of properties and the enjoyment people have from their flats.

People can make their opinions known about this by contacting Tower Hamlets Homes. Apparently the fruit trees have not been provided by Tower Hamlets Homes but the Residents Association and I think it will considerable increase the workload of our caretakers when the fruit starts to grow on those trees and will fall onto the ground.

The Residents Association cannot guarantee a long-term maintenance program for those fruit trees either.

Whilst bees and wasps are attracted to fallen and rotting fruit, which is good in a natural environment, on a housing estate it is likely to lead to a nuisance. We all know how hard it is to sit down and have a meal when wasps and bees swarm around food left-overs. We will get swarms of bees around the fallen fruit on our lawns, near our walkways and windows and children can easily pick those up and get stung. The planned beehive will guarantee it and it will also attract more wasps. I remember having been stung by a wasp, whilst trying to pick up an apple and my hand was swollen to twice the size for a week.

Perhaps it would be a better idea to have fruit orchards planted in designated areas, properly maintained by trained staff in local parks.

I think the whole concept is flawed and should urgently be re-considered.