Green initiatives in London. OPEN GARDEN SQUARES WEEKEND

As I already told you in the articles on Nature and Urban Gardens in London, this is a green city, full of parks, gardens, community gardens and orchards. In this post I am going to talk about some social or government initiatives, non-profit associations and institutions that make this possible by promoting green spaces in the city, such as the Open Garden Squares Weekend.

Initiatives that promote Urban Nature in London

To begin with, there have been and are a lot of programs and campaigns initiated by public institutions that support agriculture and urban greening in London.Right now, for example, the » Great Outdoors programme», initiated by the city government, has several initiatives that promote the greening of public spaces in London, such as the creation of Pocket Parks, more than 100 parks created in public spaces unused or abandoned.

The National Foundation for Places of Historic Interest or Natural BeautyNational Trust created 120 years ago, is a private organization that manages and preserves monuments and gardens throughout the country. It is the second largest private property owner in the UK after the crown and is financed by contributions from its members or by renting its properties. It also shows its interest in Urban Agriculture with campaigns such as «Grow Your own», in which the National Trust gave 1000 plots of its property for the implementation of urban gardens.

And… another one! The R oyal Horticultural Society is an organization that promotes horticulture in Great Britain and Europe through different community gardening programs for schools, associations… giving courses and giving up their plots to be cultivated.

An organization that encompasses many others is Sustain, The alliance for better food and farming, which supports the creation of community gardens in spaces that are not used, such as rooftops, urbanization gardens, vacant lots, community gardens, church grounds, etc. They also organize events, such as the Urban Food Fortnight that will take place next September, work for volunteers or training workshops for new urban gardeners .

One of the organizations that is part of Sustain is London Food Link, a network of farmers’ organisations, non-profit associations and cooperatives whose main objective is to increase access to healthy and sustainable food in London and to protect different food cultures. with initiatives such as » Capital Growth».

London Parks & Gardens Trust is acharitable foundation whose main objectives are to promote environmental education and to preserve, enhance and recreate green spaces in the city. It organizes routes and colloquiums and publishes publications related to the subject, manages a community of volunteers, keeps the historical inventory of London’s green spaces up to date and organizes one of the most important events related to Urban Nature in London, the Open Garden Squares Weekend..

Open Garden Squares Weekend

A little over a month ago, the 17th edition of the Open Garden Squares Weekend, organized by the London Parks & Gardens Trust and the National Trust, took place in London .This year 223 gardens and orchards, many of them private, have been opened to the public during a weekend (June 13 and 14, 2015) in which guided tours on foot or by bicycle, concerts, poetry recitals, etc., picnics, sale of plants, etc.

Tickets could be purchased online or at «The City Information Center» at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Admission for children under 12 years is free. For adults, for the purchase of a ticket -from 10 to 12 pounds- visitors had the right to participate in the activities and explore dozens of green corners of London, normally not accessible to the public, thanks to a complete guide of more than 100 pages. I was lucky enough to get one of these guides and I have to say that it is clear, complete and very useful. the guide bookclassifies the gardens, community gardens and orchards of London by district, specifying their location and the best way to reach them through complete maps, describing their main characteristics, opening hours and the activities that each of them organized for the event.

This is the page of the event:, very complete and where you can find high-quality photos and details of the participating orchards and gardens, as well as a complete interactive map to locate them, a real luxury if you are going to visit London and you want to see some of these green corners without having to die trying to find them on your own.

We look forward to more and better at Open Garden Squares Weekend 2016!

I hope you liked the post, and don’t forget that you can also tell us about the green initiatives in your cities!

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