Dig Merton targets greener borough as new initiative begins


Fruit, vegetables and wild flowers are being planted on public land.


By Jack Miller

Springtime fever is ripe in Merton, as green-fingered gardening enthusiasts are joining forces in a new initiative set to make the borough bloom.

With the official arrival of spring yesterday, Dig Merton is aiming to create a greener borough, by introducing more food and plant growing community schemes.

They are planting fruit, vegetables and wild flowers on public land across the borough, and hope the scheme will bring the community together as well as encouraging people to stay active and grow their own produce.

The initiative has been set up by several organisations in the borough including Sustainable Merton, Merton Council, Circle Housing, Merton Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, the May Project and others.

“There are already a few movers and shakers in Merton turning their green fingers to good work for the community,” said Sustainable Merton’s Tom Walsh.

“We know that there are people who really want to get involved in these types of projects and Dig Merton is a great way to get started.”

The first pilot project will be on De Burgh Road in Wimbledon, at 2pm on Saturday March 29.

Future projects will be taking place at various sites across the borough, and there will be an opportunity to speak to the Dig Merton team about how to get involved on the day.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for community and culture, Councillor Andrew Judge, added: “Community food and plant growing is a great way to make the most of unused sites and I look forward to seeing new projects starting around Merton.

“I would encourage everyone to keep an eye out for the projects and get digging with your local community. Everyone’s welcome to Dig Merton!”

Meanwhile, Merton Council is doing its part by committing to replant all the trees that were lost during the heavy storms over the winter.

More than 100 public trees were lost in Merton during the storms, and the council is planning to replace all of these over the next year as part of their tree planting programme.

The council say this will ensure that the correct species are being replaced in the right areas at the best time for them to grow successfully.

Councillor Judge said: “Merton is one of the greenest boroughs in London and our trees really help to make the area more beautiful and green.”

To get involved in a community planting project, contact Sustainable Merton on 020 3417 0476.

Photo courtesy of horrigans, with thanks.

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