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Editor’s comment: Green space is a shared, vital resource

PUBLISHED: 15:34 12 September 2018

Bevin Court won the Residential Communal Garden in Islington in Bloom last year. Picture: Islington Council

Bevin Court won the Residential Communal Garden in Islington in Bloom last year. Picture: Islington Council

Archant

I’d like to welcome the Gazette’s newest contributor Nicola Baird to this page.

Nicola will be familiar to anyone who’s been reading the Gazette for a couple of years because we interviewed her for Who’s Who in 2016 – she runs the Islington Faces blog and seems to know just about everyone who’s ever set foot in our borough.

Islington Green is an environmental column we’ll run once a month to encourage readers to get out and about in nature – but also to remind people how the natural world around us is at risk, whether through development or through climate change.

Canals, of course, aren’t really natural features, but they are home to plenty of biodiversity – trees, flowers, weeds, waterfowl and insects (and usually dogs). Islington may have the smallest amount of green space of any London borough, but water is another thing altogether.

The battle for space in London is fierce: after decades of decline in the post-war years, the capital’s population has almost returned to its 1939 peak. The housing waiting list stretches to 18,000 and there isn’t a lot of space to build the new homes we desperately need.

Yet we also desperately need greenery and open spaces, for our physical and mental health as well as the health of the planet and our children. Most people in Islington don’t have a garden. That’s one reason the war over barbecues in Highbury Fields has been so desperately fought: our resources, especially our green ones, are slim.

So we’re proud to sponsor Islington in Bloom again. They’re about more than just who has the best flowers: greenery is a shared resource that makes our lives better. You don’t have to be running a park to help create it.

We desperately need greenery and open spaces, for our physical and mental health as well as the health of the planet and our children.

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