Here’s a story written by a resident in Sharrow about the Batt Street Project. They are making fast progress with clearing the green and looking for options to making the area better for the whole community. Read what they have done last Sunday:
On Sunday 28th July we had our second clear up day on Batt Street.
We made a lot of progress on the 14th so I made a flyer for everyone on the street to say thanks and of course…let’s do it again.
We were all happy with how the first day had gone and our children have been dedicated to watering our new plants every evening…so far they have survived. As well as watering the plants, the children are obsessively searching out and reporting on:
- New buds on the plants
- New flowers on the plants
- Wood lice
This has been a real joy to see as our houses only have little back yards – mostly concrete. Watching them take care of these six little plants and the creepy crawlies and mini beasts is really inspirational. And at times hilarious as they compete to find the fattest worms and terrify each other with them.
People passing by have noticed the changes and made encouraging comments. And I might be wrong but there seems to be less litter dropping and less urinating against the bushes now the bushes have mostly been removed – result.
Geoff, our resident tree surgeon told us after the last event that we needed to finish the job underneath our huge climbing tree to make sure all the roots were gone before he puts down the membrane and the wood chippings – so that was our priority for the second day.
We managed that and with the help of our new neighbour Paloma and her friend Paulo’s determination, the gigantic nettles at the top of the green were defeated and removed. We still have more digging out to do but we worked hard and did enough for Geoff to start the next stage.
Tom from GROW Sheffield came down with their tools for us to borrow and got well stuck in with the manual labour and showing the kids how to make little newpaper pots and plant in them.
Councillor Jillian Creasy from the Green Party came down too and gave us lots of encouragement. She had some great ideas – it was helpful to have someone who is knowledgeable about plants around as we are less than expert. We had a good look through the blackberry bushes and Javad found a few strawberries so underneath the masses of sticky weeds there are strawberries and blackberries to cultivate.
During August Geoff will be starting his tree work – in close consultation with the council.
He and his team will be:
- Cutting down some of the trees at the bottom of the green that are too tightly packed in.
- Thinning out the trees that are too bushy and where some branches are already dead.
- Using the trunks of the felled trees to make a seating area around our huge tree.
- Filling the area around the huge tree with woodchip from the felled trees.
- Saving some of the long, thin branches to create wig wam structures to contain and aid the growth of the soft fruit bushes.
A couple of weeks ago I send a letter out to all of the residents about the road closure for the street party and will be posting the application to the council this week. All being well, it’s happening on Sunday 1st September!
We will be planning games, activities, food and entertainment.
Dreaming of an inner city meadow
Now that we’ve started to make progress we’ve been thinking about our original hopes for the green and thinking about what’s really possible.
There was a lot of support for planting a meadow so Anna, Geoff, Tom and I met with an expert from Pictorial Meadows so he could inspect the site and give us some advice.
He agreed it would be possible and suggested a mix that would flower from March to October, giving different colours over the months and would give five years of growth.
The planting would be in three fortnightly stages in the Autumn:
- Prepare the soil, turning and spraying with herbicide.
- Spread compost over the area, 10cms deep.
- Sow the seeds.
Now we know what we would need to do, we can measure the area, work out a plan to source the materials and mobilise our volunteers!
We want as many people as possible to help out with making the green a little beauty spot and to enjoy it – not just us Batt Streeters. So please come along to the street party to find out more.