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Our Biodiversity Project – Making Fitzrovia Greener

As you have probably heard it before, our capital is one of the greenest cities in Europe. London has 14,164 hectares of green space including parks, wildlife habitats and natural reserves – that’s the equivalent 11,000 football pitches in case you were wondering. Often these green spaces manifest in unusual ways, planes lining the streets, community gardens like the Skip Garden, and London’s beautiful array of street planters.

You might think street planters are just there to be pretty but they also provide a great service to London’s wildlife: they create a green corridor, a link between bigger green spaces allowing, for example, a butterfly to travel further afield to find a mate, food or shelter.

A couple of weeks ago, thanks to the generous support of British Land, Regent’s Place and their occupying businesses, we were able to contribute to London’s green credentials alongside Fitzrovia Youth in Action (FYA). FYA are a brilliant youth organisation located just behind Warren Street underground station, very close to the hustle and bustle of the Euston Road, but surprisingly quiet.

The residents local to FYA’s office and Regent’s Place live in period houses with railings adorned by metal planters. FYA refreshed the planters with the help of all the residents, whilst bringing the street together to celebrate adding greenery along the way with a big street BBQ to thank everyone for their help. We came in to help with the planter design and helped the residents with their gardening.

There were 33 planters to empty, refill with good soil, and replant with a mix of Phormium (tough and structural), Cranesbill Geranium (great as a pollinator), and colourful bedding plants like Petunias and Tumbling Dichondras (to brighten the whole street).

The planting day itself was a gloriously sunny day and bought together the young, old, parents, children, neighbours, friends and even passers-by, who got stuck in and planted up the entire street in less than 2 hours. We showed a few people how to transplant, who showed their neighbours, who showed their friends, who showed their children.

We left tired and muddy, but with a warm feeling inside: the feeling of a strong happy community, that had a chance to make a difference in their street and add a bit of green to their part of London, together.

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