Guerrilla Gardening (FOI-6181)
Dear ***** *****
Re: Freedom of Information Request /Environmental Information Request
Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, received 3 July 2020. Your request has been considered and our response is in bold below.
You requested the following:
I am currently undertaking research for my third-year dissertation. I am studying Geography and Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Birmingham. My research is on Guerrilla Gardening, so I am submitting a Freedom of Information Request for the following: -What are your policies and procedures for dealing with the act of Guerrilla Gardening? If you have a copy of your policies could you possibly forward me a copy? -What do you deem as an acceptable level of planting for Guerrilla Gardening? For example, planting floral at the base of street trees or planting floral in existing land uses such as parking lots. -How do you deal with health and safety concerns from the floral planted in Guerrilla Gardening? For example, plants that are poisonous to humans, pets and wildlife, Guerrilla Gardens which include food planted for community consumption, trip hazards from the flowers planted. -Are you aware of the number of Guerrilla Gardening acts in the Hackney area in the last 5 years?
The Council’s Response
PARKS & GREEN SPACES - The Council"s Parks & Green Spaces Service do not generally experience "Guerilla Gardening" in the 58 sites it looks after, and have no specific policies or procedures that relate to it.
The park byelaws do state: "No person shall remove, injure, or in any way deface or disfigure any property under the control of the Council in or enclosing any open space" and "No person shall in any open space go upon any land specially enclosed or the entry on which is prohibited by notice, or go upon any shrubbery or flower bed."
The full byelaws can be found at https://drive.google.com/file/d/11SQQbhLHTUz9-3bxA0_5bJ3p6d6t3Add/view
STREETSCENE - Hackney has been a borough of diversity and change with immense community spirit over the years and you are probably aware of the work of Radical Gardening Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden by George McKay.
Community Action with communicated dialog in a partnering approach has far reaching sustainable goals which is specific and targeted and has longevity.
Where the local authority has engaged and the community has also engaged this can represent a positive way for change rather than seeing this as a sensored authoritarian outlook of what might be viewed as Guerilla Gardening is this the form by Richard Reynolds many before and many after would look for other more positive terms.
We certainly look on the community as a positive approach to changing places. We actively encourage people and businesses to look at areas and help with us in the enhancement of green infrastructure in a positive sustainable way.
We have Tree Champions and tree carers, volunteer groups and organisations who help the authority in the provision of tree planting and greening initiatives and have done so for the past 20 years.
"Tree Gardens" are another way to further enhance an area, giving a sense of pride with the community taking further ownership when we have undertaken street tree planting. Please find some information which we hope may be of help.
Further planting of areas and seed bombing, yarn bombing have been other such creative approaches the community of Hackney have taken.
Appeals & Complaints Procedure
If you are dissatisfied with this response and wish to appeal, please reply to this email and this will be dealt with through our Internal Review procedure.
Your request should be submitted to us within 40 working days of receipt by you of this response. Any request received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the Council.
If you are still not satisfied following the Internal Review, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner"s:
Information Commissioner"s Office
0303 123 1113
Information Management Team
London Borough of Hackney