Long neglected and literally overlooked, the land in front of Camden Crescent is slowly getting the attention that it deserves.
More than five years ago, a small team of committed and dedicated local individuals, increasingly frustrated with the litter collecting in this area, starting picking it up. From fairly simple beginnings emerged the aspiration to do something bigger and better with this ill-defined space. Faced with the challenge of clearing such an overgrown area, a few people talked about getting pigs in. Then someone from the Council Parks Department mentioned that they knew a pig farmer, and a few weeks later Margo Fonteyn (the name of the sow!) and her entourage arrived at the scene. They stole the show, and everybody loved them, but they couldn’t last forever. They had done their work admirably, and the area was starting to smell. As much as people loved them, they will not be coming back.
Our next step involved thoroughly preparing the land, then sowing thousands of wildflower seeds in the area where the pigs were. Advised by local bio diversity experts, we planted a mix of perennial meadow and cornfield annuals that were carefully selected for the soil type and conditions. We have been managing this wildflower meadow ever since, with the aim being to enhance the bio diversity of the local environment, plus making the area look good. In addition to tending to the meadow, we are also working in partnership with the Council to manage the land better, so that it’s better for wildlife, more interesting for us to look at, and less dominated by invasive plants. Year by year, it is improving. Please let us know if you would like to help out on one of our occasional clear ups by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also have a longheld aspiration to replace the chain link fence at the bottom of the Wild Camden area where it abuts Upper Hedgemead Road, and to instigate the conservation of the original railings at the top. Hopefully more progress will be made on this soon!
We have also undertaken improvement to the area around St Stephen’s Steps, just behind the eastern end of Camden Crescent. We have commissioned significant tree reduction work here recently, as well as replacing the missing railings on one side. It looks so much better than it used to!