I am not a weed I am a wild plant!

Since I helped start the Greener Kennington group I have learnt a lot!!! The world has changed and the climate emergency means we have to change too.

This picture shows the conventional view of how our green spaces should look, the way we were brought up to see open spaces.

But times have changed. We now realise that the way we mowed and tidied led to a loss of habitat for our insects and other creepy crawlies and in consequence the birds that depended on them.

We learnt that the use of pesticides affected the whole food chain and polluted our own resources.

And I have learnt that quite often ‘weeds’ are actually ‘wild plants’ and sometimes quite beautiful if you stop and look at them.

Hence a few changes are happening around us. Firstly we are stopping the use of the pesticides and relying instead on a regime of weeding that makes sure the plants that damage walls (for instance) are removed but allow most to grow.

Secondly we are balancing the need for grassy areas to sit and play football on against the need to create homes for our six legged companions and the rest of the ecological chain we all rely on.

Here are two examples on the Cottington Gardens estate on Kennington Lane and on the Guinness Trust properties on Kennington Road.

For some of us (and I was one until recently) this looks like negligent mowing but look more closely and you will see all the wonderful plants that, given half a chance, will thrive.

And there will be more examples of this from greening the front of the housing office opposite the Hurley Clinic in July to planting around tree pits.

And just to give you a glimpse in detail, thanks to local photographer Crispin Hughes, this is what some of these wild plants look like:

Cllr. Jon Davies.

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