daffodils on bushey road

Merton councillor plants hundreds of trees and plants during pandemic

With the help of residents and businesses, Merton councillor David Dean managed to plant hundreds of trees and plants in Wimbledon during the last year. 

The joint effort was bolstered by the national lockdown, as more residents took advantage of their local green spaces and noticed what they could do to improve them.

The areas that have seen a real transformation include Bushey Road, Dennis Park Crescent and The Chase Nature Reserve.

The Conservative councillor and Merton resident said: “I planted more Dutch daffodils, and residents gave me a few pounds for my trouble. Then I found a low-cost supplier and went big. I purchased daffodils by the thousand and lots of locals helped me plant them”.

What started out as a solo project over 10 years ago, has turned into a team effort.

Bushey Road now has approximately 25,000 daffodils, which have become a staple in the local area.

Dean is keen for individuals, businesses and key institutions in the local area to engage with this mission.

Earlier this month, SWLondoner reported on the lack of action from Harris Academy and Merton Council in regards to planting trees that would neutralise toxic air around the school.

Dean, however, focused on the power that any one person can have on the environment and laid out key tips that anyone can follow if they are interested in doing their bit.

Some of his top tips include making the mission to improve our local spaces a ‘family affair’, not being afraid to let the grass grow, and being very generous when it comes to planting seeds.

Stuart Newton, a south west London professional that’s been joining in on the effort, has seen attitudes change during lockdown, but questioned the longevity of this new mindset.

He was particularly troubled about public transport and the number of cars on the road, and concerned about the different messages being given by the Government in regard to sharing cars and transmission.

Newton said: “If you want more people to travel, the Government needs to sort out the accessibility of different groups of people.”

As Prime Minister, Boris Johnson released his ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution at the end of last year.

Featured image credit: David Dean

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