I often encounter pessimism about the future of bee-friendly forage in London. You’ll be familiar with the argument: with property development squeezing the last drop of square footage out of any available space, homeowners decking or tarmacking over gardens and playgrounds and work-out areas nibbling away at park space, we come up against the same old problem: Land. “They ain’t making any more of the stuff”, as Will Rogers quipped.
But small, determined projects really roll back the defeatism about forage. Like our Leathermarket Gardens edible planting. Last night, I went to applaud King’s College for the “Pocket Park” which has been constructed along with their impressive new Greenwood Theatre building. This project had many local contributors: Dame Zandra Rhodes; St. Mungo’s Broadway; the London Bridge BID, as well as a bold design by top garden designer, Joe Swift.
Pocket parks are part of the Boris Johnson’s London’s Great Outdoors – the £2million pocket park programme seeks to improve streets, squares, parks, and canal and riverside spaces in over 100 locations across 26 London boroughs.
Pocket parks are small areas of inviting public space for all people to enjoy, providing relief from the hustle and bustle of the city. These spaces have trees and greenery; they are open to all; they have places to sit and relax and for people to come together; and they contribute to making the city friendlier, greener and more resilient.
And they’re wonderful for bees.