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Sunflowers on the Greenway…but not only there!

Enterprising MasterCard Corporate Volunteers planted 50 sunflowers on 1st May on two stretches of the Greenway between Barking Rd and Boundary Lane…and they are coming up! Young, strong seedlings are fighting their way up along the fence, against the odds..

Helped by the watering of passers by, and last Friday evening by the group of young Cornerstone Café Girls Group, they are slowly but surely gaining height-we can’t wait!

The display cards  dotted along the fence asking for seedlings to be watered are raising interest of Greenway user too.

Just earlier today two plucky walkers, Chris and Glennys visited the  sunflower growing site on their epic Capital Ring walk, commended the efforts of the volunteers and said how impressed they were with the Greenway on the whole!

They promised they will be back in a few months to see the sunflower in bloom…now that is the sight we are all eagerly awaiting!

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Tree Pit Gardens in bloom…

The spring is in full swing, and the Tree Pit Gardens on Tunmarsh Lane are in bloom…and looking glorious. Continuous hard work by our local volunteers-Tree Pit Gardeners, regular watering and weeding have resulted in an abundant display of lupins, lavender, anemones and dahlias…with the imminent arrival of poppies and gladiolas in the coming weeks! Gardening Club Plus volunteers have also been lending a hand in making sure the Tree Pit Gardens are looking their best, and some of the plants that have ‘wandered off’ have been replaced, few new added, and bulbs are coming up too.

If you have not cast your eye at them before, I invite you to take a  stroll down Tunmarsh Lane…its not quite a Chelsea Flower Show…but its a flower show nevertheless!

Tree Pit Gardeners had a meeting at the end of April, and asked for a water butt to be installed- and it is now in place, thanks to the handiwork of one of the local builders, who also happens to live next to the Tree Pit Gardens!

It will serve the three Tree Pit Gardens at the corner of Upperton Rd Wes and Tunmarsh Lane, but can be used for all of them, as the owners of the house kindly allow access to any volunteers who want to give a hand with watering during the dry season(which is coming up, if the forecast is to be trusted).

Serco have been very swift in removing rubbish that gets  fly-tipped by the street bin, allowing the Tree Pits to show off their beauty…but that spot remains a particular painful point for the local residents, and we have been promised by Newham Council and Plaistow Neighbourhood Team that it will be monitored for the next two months, to identify whether it qualifies for CCTV- which is what the residents want, and have been asking for.

There is one more Tree Pit  on the same stretch of the road that is up for a make over, so any of you green fingered enthusiast would like to help create another wonderful display of plants and flowers, please get in touch with Milena at, or 07388-406-499. This make-over will take place in the next few weeks, and is wholeheartedly supported by staff at Tunmarsh Centre, as it is right outside their main entrance. The staff at the Centre have pledged to keep a watchful eye, and water as necessary.

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Gardening Club Plus gets their ‘green fingers’ in Tree Pit Gardens on Tunmarsh Lane

Following a successful pilot of ‘Adopt a tree Pit’ initiative by PSBL Green Spaces and Streets team, five out of seven Tree Pit gardens have now been adopted since February 2019,thoroughly transformed with hard work and dedication by local residents living nearby, who also look after them.

Three months on, to give residents a helping hand with maintenance, Gardening Club Plus has expanded their twice-monthly meet-ups to now include  Gardening at Tree Pit Gardens once a month as well, so we are now meeting every 1st,3rd and 4th Wednesday  at 10 am for socialising and nurturing plants-and friendships!

The Tree Pit Gardens are now a point of conversation, passers-by stop to admire them, and compliment us on the gardens looking lush and colourful, people driving past and tooting their horns in support and even a few ‘thank you so much’ shout outs! The local dog owners have been very respectful too, as they do not let their dogs disturb the plants or leave ‘deposits’ when they curiously sniff around the Tree Pits.

Last Saturday,27th April, we also had our first ‘Tree Pit Gardeners’ meeting, where we discussed challenges of growing public community gardens (stolen plants, littering, fly-tipping, vandalising), and where to source out water for watering the Tree Pits Gardens during dry spells-and we came up with a great solution: Water butt to be installed in one of our Tree Gardeners front gardens, for everyone to use during the dry spells. The minimal amount of plants that grew ‘legs’ instead of roots has already been replaced by PSBL, and there are plans to sow more seeds over the coming months to keep the Tree Pit Gardens beautiful. Our next Tee Pit Gardeners meeting will be at the end of June, hopefully ending with the picnic.

There are funds available to transform the remaining two Tree Pits on Tunmarsh Lane (one in collaboration with Tunmarsh Centre and their Children’s Play group), so watch this space for more greenery on Plaistow Streets!

We also meet at The Orchard on the Greenway, where we are in the process of creating a ‘Herb Garden’, as well as at ‘The Mix’, where we shelter from cold and wet weather, and run cooking or creative workshops of some sort in winter.


If you are interested in getting involved- by donating plants and seeds, volunteering, creating beautiful and lasting legacy in our neighbourhood, as well as making new friends whilst doing a spot of gardening, please get in touch with Milena via e-mail on 


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Hooray! Plaistow Youth Market re-opens on the Greenway for monthly markets

Saturday 6th April 11-3pm and every first Saturday through to September 🙂

We are delighted that the Plaistow Youth Market, known as PYM, is returning to the Greenway on Saturday  6th April. It will run on the first Saturday of the month through to September.  This is following on from a busy January market at NewVIc where some traders sold out!

We have 15 traders booked for April.  We are delighted that Adam is returning with his delicious locally made jams.  Our youngest trader is Zara aged 9 will be there with her bead creations – she was one of the traders that sold out in January!

Lora Toma, our youth enterprise worker: “We are excited to be running six markets in 2019.  The organising committee has agreed that we will also be looking to expand the event this year and bring in other elements to make it even more of an occasion!  So far we are looking into Zumba dancing, board games area, Dr Bike, and planting activities with my Green Spaces colleagues”

See you on Saturday 6 April and tell your Friends!

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Come on Bats. Green Gym has made a lovely bat box and can make more!

We are having fun at the Green Gym in Plaistow’s Orchard on the Greenway every Thursday. 

Things we have done over the past few months: pruned, weeded and mulched the apple trees, cut back hedgerows, prepared the location for a rain collection structure, planted blueberry bushes, Mulberry trees, harvested herbs, wild plants and veg, tasted Orchard pestos and jams, and recently made the first bat box.

Loads more coming up: weeding and re-planting wild flower meadow, growing veg, planting sunflowers and nasturtiums along the fence, more bird boxes and bat boxes, watering, wildlife surveys, litter picks …

Every week we do a warm up at the beginning, cool down at the end and have a break for a cuppa, chat and some lunch.

The Green Gym volunteers are on track to become an independent group of conservation volunteers by the end of 2019.  More volunteers needed to make this happen,

Just turn up at 11 on Thursdays. Or meet us at the shed (by the hospital) at 10.45.   The Orchard is on the Greenway between Boundary Road and Prince Regent Lane, at the Boundary Road end. The weekly session is 11-2pm

Call 07957 534908 for more info.  Or email

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The Safe Zone pilot in Plaistow South re knife crime and gangs

PSBL has piloted a project that aims to work with young people on the streets, in schools, PRU’s, youth clubs etc to raise their awareness on how to keep safe on the streets and avoid, guns, gangs and knives.

REIN youth workers have been working since November and have so far contacted 50 young people, with 20 attending workshops that include deconstructing drill music videos and increasing street awareness.

Part of the pilot is to find local shop keepers willing to be a Safe Youth Zone place, if a young person needs to get away from danger.  So far 5 shop keepers in Plaistow South have signed up.

It is a pilot and part of this is working out the sustainability of the scheme locally as well as the wider impact on youth safety whilst on the street.  We are so glad to be involved in this bigger pilot which is part funded by the Local Trust, to do something practical to address gun, gangs and knives.

We hope to feature a couple of local shop keepers that have signed up in a future blog, and our Facebook page.  We know our local shops are part of community life and it is encouraging when this community spirit can be seen in action.  You can already see these appearing in local shop windows, and more will be coming. 🙂  If you want to know more, get in touch.

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The beautiful tree pit gardens on Tunmarsh Lane – first pictures and update

We are delighted that residents are taking over an unloved street corner and turning it into something beautiful and special! Following some inspiration from local resident Ian Noon and what we’ve seen happening in Hammersmith and Fulham, we have identified 5 tree pits. Four of the five have now been adopted.

Take a walk down Tunmarsh Lane. On the corner of Upperton Court West, both sides of the road opposite the Tunmarsh Centre and you will see them!

We’d love to hear your thoughts about this. Will it work? If you could take a look at this survey it will just take 5 minutes with 6 quick questions.

On our Facebook page and speaking to passers by while the gardens are being created, locals are DELIGHTED with this! Many more pics are on Facebook.

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Foraging for edible plants with Gardening Plus club 6th March


We are delighted to be running a foraging session for our fortnightly Gardening +  Club.  Be inspired by the health properties of the plants and ‘weeds’ on our doorstep.  

I am a keen forager and had the opportunity to attend a training course a few weeks ago inspire and encourage me to share with you all I know!

Wednedsay 6h March 10-11.45

Meet at the entrance to the Greenway Orchard (The Boundary Road end).

Do bring a note book, pen and a bag.  Come dressed for the weather! Hopefully we can share some foraged teas together too. 🙂

Milena Rouse, Green Spaces Community Worker 07388 406499




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Plaistow resident Ian Noon sows the seeds of change!

I met Ian in Autumn 2017 at the Barbers Alley, when we gathered to meet with local residents with intent to revive the Alley. It was clear then that Ian has a lot of great ideas, and is a plucky local himself…We met again at the Citizen Assembly last November, and struck up a conversation about gardening and growing, to which Ian exclaimed: “I reclaimed the tree pit in front of my flat in Baalam St, and the first shoots are popping up already!”

What a delight to hear that there are locals ready to take a positive action without waiting for the Council to approve it…I then shared with him that us at PSBL Green Spaces are ready to roll out a pilot scheme ‘Adopt a Tree Pit’, and that we identified a few of them near the junction of Tunmarsh Lane and Beaumont Rd. We have contacted Newham Council to ask them if they allow us to populate them, as well as to ensure that they are not sprayed with weed killer.

So- are you up for it? A small on-off grant from PSBL will be available to buy soil, plants and a small border. All we need from you is a willingness to grow and maintain your tree pit, water it in dry periods and show commitment for at least 12 months. You can treat it as your own mini-garden. This scheme is particularly suitable for those with no gardening space of their own.

Please contact Milena via e-mail on to request application form and to find out more.


Enjoying the fresh brew and fresh air with Noons…

Daffodils are already shooting up in Ian’s tree pit..

One of the resident-maintained tree pits in Hammersmith and Fulham.



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Wednesday Gardening Club + has exciting programme for 2019!

Thank you to all those who have been part of our Gardening Club this year.  We had a great finish with the wreaths workshop and that delicious Christmas cake, baked by the group the previous month and aged at home!

Here is the draft programme for January to March. Every 1st and 3rd Wednesdays from 10-11.30 in The Mix, Cumberland Road.   Text or email me for more information, otherwise hope to see you on 9th for mulled wine and gingerbread cookie making!  Milena.