Even in these dark days of Coronavirus there are still reasons to feel uplifted right on our doorsteps. Resident and volunteer Ed Lee has been busy improving the gardening areas for everyone to enjoy. Hoses have been replaced where necessary and made secure to prevent trip hazards, as well as to provide ease of use. The path has been levelled and extended and laid with gravel in order to deter weeds. It is now also possible to push the wheelbarrow along it.
Edges on the lower slope have been shored up and strengthened. Steps linking the top tier with the bottom have been laid and made secure. The composting areas have been rearranged, as have the seating areas.
Additionally, Ed has cleared away debris from various members’ plots which not only improves the appearance but also means there is no unwanted ‘creep’ to surrounding areas.
There has been quite a lot of deterioration in some of the structural woodwork, as well as hazards from screws coming adrift; Ed has made temporary repairs where possible, and the problem has been reported to PfP which is in the process of responding.
EVTRA wishes to monitor and keep a record of environmental observations and changes. We therefore invite all residents to report things of interest which they see. We are thinking of: animals, birds, insects, butterflies, trees, shrubs. flowers and plants.
If you want to share photos of wildlife sightings, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (see sidebar).
You are welcome to write at length, but all we need is what was seen, a date and (rough) time and place.
Please also give your name and a means of contact. This is so that, in the event of something of wider significance (e.g., the appearance of a badger) we can follow up and involve the appropriate agency. But we shall under no circumstances reveal or use your name and details without your permission.
Beekeeping in Elm Village allotments began in 2014 using start-up funding provided by Pfp. Two colonies of Buckfast bees, known for their quiet natures, were purchased from Fragile Plant. Peter McGinty and Helene Fawcett looked after the hives for the first couple of years, Helene having attended a self-funded course, Urban Beekeeping, run by Brian McCallum, a professional beekeeping inspector, and author of several books on beekeeping, held at Camley Street Wildlife park.
Since then the bees have been kept by Helene and Rob Small with further training provided by courses run by North London Beekeepers’ Association at the Kenwood Apiary. They are currently assisted by Tom Inman and Sophie Geoghegan, both of whom have been trained in sustainable beekeeping.
All costs associated with training courses, as well as stock, equipment and supplies are met by the beekeepers.
The beekeepers welcome interest and involvement from EVTRA members. Please contact North London Beekeepers’ Association if you are interested in training courses. Or just come and talk to us.
London Wildlife Trust are currently consulting on plans for a new visitor centre and programme of learning activities at Camley Street Natural Park. We’d love to hear the views of Elm Village residents.
Many residents know Mike Jackson who was formerly with Camden Garden Centre. Many of you will not know, however, that Mike is a Hollywood A-lister. Just released in the cinemas now is a movie that’s based on Mike’s life as a gay activist.
The film is called Pride and stars Imelda Staunton and Bill Nighy. Mike is played by Joseph Gilgun. The film is about a time in the mid-1980s when Mike and others formed the support group, Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, and adopted a Welsh mining town as their cause, raising funds for miners on the picket line.
If you attended the Big Lunch, you’ll no doubt have noticed the bee hives at the top of the allotments. The Elm Village bees have now arrived. EVTRA volunteers and staff from Camden Garden Centre helped get them get settled in place. The bees were kept in their temporary hives and then moved into their permanent hives.
Rosa Kiftsgate is in bloom – you can see it from the corner of Rossendale Way, just look up into the trees and there it is. Make sure to look for it next time you walk past as the display will only last a week or so, it’s definitely not to be missed.