Imagine a community that’s more inviting for wildlife, more beautiful for residents and better for the environment.
We’re crowdfunding to hire a skilled and affordable Community Gardener to work in the postcode E5 to transform the streets into a green haven. We're starting in the area around Daubeney Road and to the east of Chatsworth Road.
Let’s be #10xGreener
#10xGreener is an ambitious pilot project that can be summed up by a simple question: how green can we make our neighbourhoods?
While most people want to live in a greener and more beautiful community, we know that not everyone has the time, energy, ability, space or interest to grow or look after plants. The result is that many streets, houses and front gardens are not nearly as green and colourful as they could be.
#10xGreener is crowdfunding to recruit a skilled Community Gardener. The gardener would make our front gardens, streets and other spaces greener and looking their best all year around. They’ll do this by planting and maintaining wildlife-friendly plants and flowers, by installing planters and offering tailored advice.
We are crowdfunding for at least 350 hours of gardener time so that we can hire one or more gardeners for a minimum of one day a week over the next year.
If our pilot project is a success, we hope to hire Community Gardeners across Hackney. As well as making streets #10xGreener, they’ll add an additional layer of community, sharing, investment and care to the borough. They will also create plenty of opportunities for members of the community to get involved if they wish to.
What you’ll get
By backing #10xGreener you’ll hire someone local to become your Community Gardener for a year. If you’ve got a front garden, they’ll not only help you to make it greener and better for nature - they’ll help other people across the neighbourhood too. The more people who contribute the greater the impact will be.
This is a gardener for the whole community - and they’ll work to improve it overall. They won’t focus on private gardening. But, of course, private front gardens will be improved as a result.
They will also spend more time where it is needed, so you can expect them to take more time transforming the greyest front gardens. This is because even though it may be another person’s private front garden, we all benefit if these spaces are greener.
By focussing on improving the neighbourhood for nature, taking a low-maintenance approach and sharing the cost, we’ll be able to make their work highly affordable. We also hope to be able to use the same approach to provide discounts on plants, water butts and removing concrete too.
If you contribute £1 or more you’ll get a sticker for your window as a thank you for supporting the #10xGreener project. Contribute £27 or more, and we'll contact you to find out what you would like from the Community Gardener.
You may want them to:
Manage your front garden for you
Pick this option if you are happy for the Community Gardener to focus on what’s great for nature. They’ll make sure your front garden is well-planted and visit enough times in the year to keep on top of key jobs. You’ll have a nature-friendly front garden to be proud of.
Help plant or care for part of your garden
Do you just want help with part of your front garden? You could ask the Community Gardener to just look after a planter or a space you would like to grow wilder.
Just provide advice
If you like gardening but just need some tips and advice, the Community Gardener will be available to help you out.
Help someone else
Got your front garden sorted or don’t have one? You can choose to donate your investment to someone in the neighbourhood who can’t afford to contribute.
Anyone can contribute to this crowdfunding campaign, but for this pilot the Community Gardener will only operate in the defined area. We hope to grow into other postcodes soon.
What is #10xGreener?
Supported by Friends of the Earth, 10 x Greener is a pilot project to inspire and support the residents to make their streets greener and better for people, nature and the environment in the process. It's started on Daubeney Road in Hackney and is being grown by this crowdfunding campaign.
Will the #10xGreener project definitely work?
We hope so. It works on estates where there is a service charge to pay for a gardener. The Poppy Estate looks amazing because of the work that is done by their gardener John Little. We want to try and replicate that success by hiring someone to do similar work but funded by lots and lots of households.
How much Community Gardener time are we crowdfunding for?
We are want to raise enough funding to cover one or more gardeners for at least 350 hours per year.
What happens if you don’t crowdfund enough money?
We will not go ahead with the project but will contact the people who have gotten involved to see if there is a way forward regardless.
What happens if you crowdfund more money?
We would love to have a team of two or three Community Gardeners as we would be able to achieve so much more. Extra funding would also be used to buy plants and other things to help make the neighbourhood #10xGreener.
What happens when the year is up?
This is a pilot project. We are hoping to prove that a Community Gardener is an amazing asset for the community and something that people want to invest in longer term. The aim would be to get enough people to pay a small amount a month to continue the service.
Will they be my private gardener?
No. You may choose to give them access and permission to do nature-friendly gardening in your front garden. If you want intensive private gardening to be done where you are in charge, we may be able to help, but would want to talk to you separately about that.
Can I choose what plants are planted?
At the start of the project we will ask you what kind of relationship you want to have with the Community Gardener. You may want to give them freedom to do anything they want anywhere in your front garden or you may choose to limit what they do. Depending on what you decide, the Community Gardener would give you choices about the things that would be planted. They will always be looking for choices of plants that are easy to look after, need minimum maintenance, provide lots of green cover and are great for nature. It may be possible to have help to grow food or more intensive things, but we would want to talk to you about that first.
Does it matter that I don’t own my house?
No, this offer is open to private renters, council tenants and anyone else who has some public facing green space.
What services will the gardener offer?
They will be focussed on making the entire neighbourhood greener and better for nature, so will spend more time in greyer places that need more love. They will only work in the front gardens of households that have contributed to the project, but they will also do things on the street and in shared spaces where appropriate.
When will the Community Gardener start their work?
June or July 2018.
When will I be able to see a difference in the neighbourhood?
The greatest changes will be seen next summer, after they’ve had a year to prepare gardens, planted seeds and helped them to grow.
Will they water plants?
They may be able to help occasionally, but you will need to water your garden. We are looking into creating some volunteer groups who can help with watering.
Do I need any skills to get involved?
How much time do I have to commit?
Potentially very little. You could ask the Community Gardener to manage your front garden for nature and they’ll do what they can to choose hardy plants that are drought tolerant.
What if I have a relevant complaint, spot a problem or see an opportunity?
Contact us and we’ll do our best to help you. While the Community Gardener will be able to help with some things, others will be the responsibility of the council or other organisations.
What specifically can I do to help?
Plant lots and lots of plants and put them in highly visible places. The more people who do this, the greater the culture we will create of making E5 #10xGreener! Of course, we’d love for you to help fund the Community Gardener too.
I have an idea that could help?
Great! Please contact us (see below).
How can I contribute if I have no money to spare?
Please message us and let us know you are interested in volunteering.
Can I give seeds, soil and plant pots?
The Community Gardener will organise days and ways for this to happen.
How will we share any edible produce?
Where we do grow produce (like herbs and other things) the Community Gardener will organise days and ways for this to happen.
Is the gardener insured?
Will the gardener pick up litter?
The gardener will not replace council services, but they will help to make the neighbourhood tidier - especially in the front gardens of households that are supporting the project.
Will the gardener collect household items?
I’m a business. Can I help in some special way?
We would love that. Please contact us.
Who else is involved?
The project is supported by the environment charity, Friends of the Earth.
Who is Friends of the Earth?
Friends of the Earth is the influential environment charity with a long history of successes in areas as diverse as recycling, climate change and saving wildlife habitats and species.
To make sure as much of the money raised goes towards helping wildlife and your community, we will deliver all of the materials on a specified day to a nominated person in your area. A Community Gardener will also be on hand to help you get the most from them. It's a great chance to get to know your neighbours!