The last month has seen a spate of green community projects around Beeston – and organisers promise there’s more to come.
On Friday 16 June, dozens of volunteers from city centre firms spent the day grafting with local residents on various environmental projects in and around Cross Flatts Park, as part of Give and Gain Day in association with Beeston in Bloom and Business in the Community. Projects included tidying up and repainting the kids playground, creating a mural on the Watsonian Pavilion, and building a very flash ‘bug hotel’ to support bug and insect life, which is crucial for pollination and other aspects of the local ‘ecosystem’.
The very next day, 20+ local volunteers fixed up 50+ hanging baskets around Beeston Hill – to encourage more people to get growing, and to get their streets feeling more beautiful and inspiring. Support for this project also came from a range of organisations – including Leeds Federated Housing, Groundwork, Beeston in Bloom, St Luke’s church, and Leeds City Council.
And linked with that project, the residents of Harlech Avenue in Beeston have been pressing ahead with their pioneering binyard project. The binyards are somewhat infamous around LS11, often becoming used for flytipping and anti-social behaviour. But the Harlech Avenue residents have been keen to use their yards for good. They previously built a chicken run and woodshed in one of theirs, have now built a greenhouse in the other – and by begging, borrowing and scavenging all the materials, completed it for just a few pounds.
Local resident Ed Carlisle, who was involved in each of the projects, says:
“A few of us have been really inspired by stories of inner city neighbourhoods working together to create lush green streets and community spaces.
“And there are great local projects like Incredible Edible (based in Todmorden, but now in loads of places including Armley), Feed Leeds, Beeston in Bloom, and others – and we see no reason why we can’t make all that stuff happen here in Beeston Hill. We all want to live in nice-looking neighbourhoods, and good food’s only getting more expensive. So we’ve made a start with these projects, and will see where we go.”
Future plans include dishing out more window boxes and hanging baskets to residents, resurrecting other binyards, creating more community growing spaces – and residents are encouraged to come up with their own ideas and projects. For more info or to get involved, leave a comment here and Ed will get back to you.