We are thrilled to be the recipients of the Best Childrens Garden prize and a Certificate for Excellence in Contribution to the Community in the 2016 Tower Hamlets in Bloom competition.
Well done to all of our green fingered children and young people including students from Cubitt Town School, George Greens School, The Phoenix School, St. Paul’s Way Trust and Blue Gate Fields, as well as Stephen and his support worker, for his care and attention to keep everything watered.
Our children’s/young people growing project is an educational tool here on the farm, covering cross curricula topics. Students take part 40 weeks of the year. All the above are able to harvest and cook their produce, including making green tomato salsa. Nothing goes to waste!
Tower Hamlets in Bloom has recognised the dedication and hard work by all of the participating groups and the Mudchute education staff team. We hope you’ll join us in congratulating all the participants!
The raised beds near Pets Corner are looking fantastic and our new polytunnel is up, planted and already producing! The students’ efforts are certainly paying off as lots of lovely fruits and vegetables are rapidly ripening. Here are a few photos from our look around the Childrens’ Growing Project with our head of Education, Denise. Well done to all of the green-fingered students from George Green’s School, Cubitt Town Infants School Bluegate Field Junior School, St. Paul’s Way Trust School and Phoenix School!
Across Mudchute, we try to encourage and support our local wildlife and in order to do so, we must manage our habitats for local flora and fauna populations. Last year we began restoration projects on our banks, returning these areas to more open grassland. This year we are continuing to do so in several areas across the site where brambles have recently taken over.
Thorny and frost hardy!
Brambles are fast-growing and can make excellent habitat for nesting birds, but they also crowd out many of the flora and fauna that inhabit the open grassland habitats that Mudchute offers. We have taken professional advice as to where and when works can be carried out and our works are targeting key habitats. To minimise disruption to wildlife, we will be carrying out the works now so not to interfere with nesting birds.
To remove the brambles, we must not only cut back the visible growth, but also remove their roots to prevent rapid recolonisation. New canes begin growing as new shoots from just below the surface in the form of bright pink new buds. Brambles have a few other tricks up their sleeves as well. If a cane meets the soil, the area in contact with the soil can put out roots of its own, tapping into even more resources and fuelling even more growth! And of course, one cannot forget those unforgiving thorns, which are found across the plant, even including its leaves!
All in all, cutting the brambles back is a tough job, but we look forward to seeing the benefits soon. The area may look a bit messy at the moment, but Spring should bring some rather more interesting wildflowers to the area. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
In the meantime, we have produced lots of delicious forage for our goats and pigs and the local wildlife have even pulled together an impromptu cleanup crew, following us as they forage for invertebrates in the disturbed soil. There are plenty of robins in tow and we have even spotted a fox having a go at some earthworms!
Interesting in lending a hand? Could you lend your expertise or equipment? We are always grateful for contributions! Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or to find out more about other ways you can help support our work.
Flora will quickly claim the areas where brambles have been removed.
The roots of an opportunistic cane.
Pygmy goats make quick work of bramble cuttings.
A robin waits for more invertebrates to be revealed.