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Breathing new life into Hatfields Green

The Friends of Hatfields Green is celebrating a double funding boost which will enable much-needed improvements to be made to the neglected green space.

Hatfields Green
Tamsin Ogilvie, Cllr Peter Truesdale, Kate Hoey MP and O2's Helen Parker
Members of the Friends of Hatfields Green
Members of the Friends of Hatfields Green and guests
London Nautical School headmaster Gordon Wilson
London Nautical School headmaster Gordon Wilson
Hatfields Green dereliction
Plans are in hand to replace this area with a grassy bank, raised planter with seating and colourful shrubs

Last Monday Kate Hoey MP and Cllr Peter Truesdale joined Friends of Hatfields Green for a celebratory event at the small open space on the street linking The Cut and Stamford Street.

The green features mature trees and is home to a variety of wildlife, but until recently the space – which is on the very eastern edge of the borough of Lambeth – felt abandoned and forgotten.

Through the work of Friends of Hatfields Green, supported by Waterloo Green Trust, the site is beginning to show signs of life. Several bulb planting days in the winter have led to a bright display of daffodils and snowdrops among the trees. Recent plantings have brightened up the grassy roadside with spring flowers and a lavender hedge.

Local children and boys from the London Nautical School have been active in these pilot gardening schemes, which has led to Friends of Hatfields Green being granted a 995 O2 'It's Your Community' award to run further community sessions.

"We are planning more gardening activities on-site this summer and autumn to encourage local children and residents to see the potential in this lovely green space," says Tamsin Ogilvie, chairman of the Friends of Hatfields Green.

"By getting our hands dirty we hope everyone will feel proud of the site and help maintain it when the capital works have been complete."

The development of the London Nautical School site has meant that Hatfields Green has just received 50,000 from the school which will fund the first phase of the capital works.

"The proximity of Hatfields Green to the LNS has always made it of special interest to the school, and we are delighted to be able to instigate improvements on site with our donation," explains headmaster Gordon Wilson.

Plans for the green include the replacement of the tarmaced area and broken wall with a grassy bank, raised planter with seating and colourful shrubs. This will establish a peaceful green oasis between the ball courts on either side.

"Here is an outstanding community project well worth supporting," says Libby Symon of the Conservation Foundation.

"We were impressed with how the Friends are breathing new life and community spirit into Hatfields, creating a green oasis in the heart of the city. Their energy, enthusiasm and imagination are inspiring. A shared interest in growing things is a great way to bring people together."

For up-to-date information about activities on Hatfields Green this summer see the posters on site or email tamsin@nutsandboltsdesign.co.uk to join the Friends' mailing list.

O2 and the Conservation Foundation offer awards of up to 1000 to local groups and individuals for the hire of tools or equipment, and to purchase plants, paint, signs, materials etc. All types of environmental projects are welcome to apply. Application forms are available in O2's 350 shops and at www.conservationfoundation.co.uk

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