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EnviroClub's corner garden
by Grace Myne-Lilley

EnviroClub is a society at Goldsmiths College. We are a small group of people who are all interested in subjects like climate change, permaculture, and generally trying to be nice to our planet. We are also encouraging the university to reduce its carbon footprint and implement widespread recycling in all the buildings as steps in the right direction.

In the short history of EnviroClub, having a garden has always been an aim. Last year there was a very long, bureaucratic conversation with National Rail; they are apparently keen to have their surplus land used by the local community. However, little headway was made. This year, eventually a plot was designated by the college on its grounds. Next to the Student Unionís bins, and underneath the balcony where drinks cups and cigarettes sporadically rain down from, it wasnít the most ideal locations. Fortunately, the college decided we couldnít use that pitch, and recently we found our garden.

Itís a triangular shaped raised bed, hidden away between the back of a building and some car parking spaces. Itís enclosed on all sides; by a high brick wall, by a seldom used building, and a wire fence. When we first discovered it, it was overgrown with weeds, ivy, and a kiwi producing actual kiwis! It may sound slightly underwhelming, but the space has a lot of potential. With Merlynís encouragement, gardening know-how and lots of his plants, we now have tomato, lettuce, potatoes, comfrey, Japanese gingerÖItís such an exciting moment, to have planned and waited for a goal for months, then to see it executed in only a couple of hours.

Not only did we plant, but we also started discussing what else will happen in this small enclave. We are planning to cut a door and window into the wire fence that separates the garden from the car spaces, beyond which is the back field and college. This entrance would make the space much more accessible. While it has its charm as a secret den, ultimately we want as many people to enjoy and use the garden as possible. We need to build steps and ramps, so the bed can be walked across and the whole area easily reached. Also, a tunnel of climbers from the new door to one of the sets of steps will make a grand entrance.

As always, we need to make as many people aware of our project. Hopefully one day it will be used by a range of students and the facility, not only for gardening but also as an outdoor space for performances, meetings and socialising. If weíre not ambitious, who will be?

This is a student-based project. Further details can be obtained from: EnviroClub

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