You'll know from reading my blog this year that green spaces are important to me, and I'm fortunate that where I live in Greenwich there's plenty of green spaces. All too often we assume that city dwelling means very little green spaces, but I hope I'm showing that's not necessarily the case. London has many more green spaces than people think, a map - even of Central London - quickly shows parks, squares and even forests.
My favourite, and local London park, is Greenwich Park which is also part of my walking commute every single day, even when it's dark in the evenings and therefore shut, there's still my morning commute. It's been a while but we've even looked at some of London's squares - I really should try and revisit Russell Square to look at that lime tree cloister. And we keep promising to head over to Epping Forest with our bikes one day, too.
But it's not just the large and more public open spaces that make a difference though, it's also about our gardens. Enviro Waste, one of London's professional waste clearance companies say that "London's gardens account for 24% of the space in the capital" which when you think about it is quite a lot isn't it?
That means that each of us have a responsibility for reducing pollution levels, in our local area, as Rosie from A Green and Rosie Life posted on Instagram recently:
We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to. When will we realise how we cannot go on like this if we wish to survive? #Green #Sustainable #Organic #Nature #Wildlife #ecology #conservation #preservation #reduce #reuse #recycling #sustainability #zerowaste #ethical #environment #upcycling #foraging #local
Yes, that's a sobering thought isn't it?
But what can we do...
If each of us with outside space, however small, takes action together we can reduce pollution. Whether that's
- growing herbs in pots,
- feeding the birds that visit our garden,
- encourage wildlife into our spaces with plants and bug boxes,
- keep our outside spaces by keeping on top of gardening,
- responsibly disposing of our waste and
- recycling whenever we can, including council green waste collections.
For some tips on how to get started see my post from National Gardener's Week.
It's a fine line though
Last summer, we needed to fox-proof our greenhouse as our neighbour had four fox cubs living in her garden next door and while we were away I wanted to leave the greenhouse door open and be confident my seedlings were safe.
It's not as if the fox cubs weren't cute, they were, and clearly they'd been attracted to our neighbour's garden because of its safety and overgrown nature. We spent quite some time watching the cubs play next door. I mean, who wouldn't be mesmerised by their puppy-cum-kitten like tumbles and play fights. Certainly not us.
We knew though that they wouldn't stay fox cubs for long and it wasn't too much longer before they dug their way into our garden, under the fence and soon walked a trail - and mud patch - into our grass. I was glad to have rigged up the protection for the greenhouse as when we returned from our holiday we found small holes across the lawn where they'd been practicing their digging skills.
Our neighbour's garden hasn't improved much this year, but thankfully the foxes haven't returned, they'd made a den under the shed, which is now under all that ivy, here's the view out of our back window:
So do what you can to be responsible and help improve our environment, but remember that fine line, your neighbours will thank you for it. Trust me, I know I would, what about you?
* This is a collaborative post but all views and opinions are my own.