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Community and living, Cooperative Council, Environment, Leisure

Bulb planting day a success for Lambeth’s newest park friends group

Streatham will be full of spring colour next year thanks to local school children and volunteers who spent a day planting bulbs this week.

It was organised by the newly formed Friends of Streatham Green, Lambeth’s newest park user group, who are working to claim back the green for the community following problems with street drinkers.

They joined forces with pupils from St Leonard’s CE Primary School and Lambeth Council parks officers to plant 1,000 crocuses and 1,500 snowdrops at Streatham Green, which is a little green oasis in the heart of Streatham village.

The bulbs were paid for thanks to a grant from Metropolitan Public Gardens Association and The Manor Arms Pub.

Friends of Streatham Green has been set up with the support of Lambeth Council, and is made up of residents and local businesses who want to take a more active role in decisions about how the Green should be managed. It’s the latest Lambeth park “friends of” group, volunteers who work hand in hand with the council to improve and maintain green spaces across the borough.

Streatham Green used to have problems with loitering and anti-social street drinking, but after a number of successful operations by the police and the council the drinkers have been moved on. The new friends group will play a key role in building on that success and making sure the space is reclaimed for the community for good. Other aims for the group are to restore the Dyce Fountain, keep the area free of pigeons and litter, and to encourage markets and regular events on the green.

Richard Coltart of the Manor Arms pub is Chair of Friends of Streatham Green. He said: “The Manor Arms is delighted to be involved with community projects such as this and we’re very proud to be a member of the Friends of Streatham Green. Streatham is such a vibrant place and there is so much goodwill and work going on behind the scenes to enhance it. We are thrilled that the pupils of St Leonard’s have planted these bulbs and look forward to enjoying the fruits of their labour in the spring!”

Cllr Florence Nosegbe, Lambeth Council’s cabinet member for culture, said: “I’m delighted that the Friends of Streatham Green are getting off to such a fantastic start and are already making a difference – it’s going to be wonderful seeing all these bulbs come into flower in a few months time.

“The partnership between the council and Friends of Streatham Green is exactly what we mean when we talk about Lambeth becoming a Cooperative borough – local people working hand in hand with the council to shape services that people really want to use, and taking key decisions about their local area. We have some wonderful green spaces in Lambeth but what separates out great parks from merely good ones is when there is a strong and active local parks friends’ group.”

If you would like to take part in becoming a member of the Friends of Streatham Green, monthly meetings are held in the Manor Arms in Mitcham and are open to all. Please visit the website at www.streathamgreen.tumblr.com or email parks@lambeth.gov.uk

For more information about local park user groups in your area, visit www.lambeth.gov.uk/parks

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