What if we could create an urban woodland somewhere in Southend-on-Sea

Sherry, Graham and Jamillah

Sherry, Graham and Jamillah

I was invited to attend the latest What If… session last night (anyone can go along, I just happen to know a couple of people involved). We met upstairs at The Railway Hotel. The evening was hosted by Sherry Fuller, ably aided by long-time friend Graham Burnett.

By the end I was able to talk about a long-cherished aim of mine, I desire for an urban wood somewhere in the borough. (I cannot recall exactly when this idea first planted into my consciousness, but it at least dates from March 2011.

The Borough of Southend-on-Sea is blessed with a number of wonderful parks. These exist because of far-sighted and beneficent citizens of this town in years gone by. Not much in the way of new green spaces has been made during my lifetime, and this is understandable. A growing population clearly puts stress on open and undeveloped spaces.

What I wrote three years ago is worth repeating: I want to investigate the possibility of having urban woodland within the borough. These need not be vast tracks set aside for trees; house-sized plots can be used. I do not want demolition of existing structures to create these urban woodlands, but do see areas around the borough that would make ideal sites, areas without buildings, or where buildings have already been knocked down.

I believe an urban wood has merit on a number of levels. It gives back to nature and helps in the fight against climate change and pollution. It provides a space for wildlife (and could be integrated into a green corridor). It also has educational possibilities – schools and young people could be asked to create the woodland and maintain it, as well as using it to explore.

Its biggest selling point, in my opinion, is that it would be a place of repose, and recreation, for all.

In addition to my pitch for urban woodland I think I was able to persuade a gorilla to do some guerrilla gardening. Watch out for Dusty Bottems and a bunch of bananas at a waste ground near you …

A good evening, and I hope to take part in future events. I hope to see some of you there too.

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2 Responses to What if we could create an urban woodland somewhere in Southend-on-Sea

  1. Dusty says:

    Thanks Julian! Let’s hope this project comes to fruition!

  2. great idea. I hope it bears fruit!

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