Persuading your local train station to plant fruit trees
Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on March 22nd, 2010
Source: The Ecologist
From “Persuading your local station to plant fruit trees” by Laura Laker
Armed with just a good idea and big dose of enthusiasm you can transform a bleak area into a mini orchard. Plus, the best way to approach a station manager…
When I approached Harringay Green Lanes station in September I never expected either to be as lucky as I was, or the interest my idea of growing food at stations would generate. Having worked all over London, I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for trains at the city’s drab, grey, open-air waiting rooms. A couple of years ago I found myself at a particularly bleak North London station, hemmed in with high walls. All that greeted the weary commuter was an array of flat, grey surfaces, topped with an often grey sky. Looking at the forlorn planters around me I felt strangely inspired.
Then last summer I joined Transition Town Finsbury Park (TTFP), a group in its early stages, focusing on local food production. The idea behind Transition Towns is that groups form to improve local sustainability, tackling issues such as food, transport and waste, to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil on their communities. The support of the group gave me the courage to follow my idea, and less than a week after a living-room meeting with three encouraging Transitioners I was approaching local stations. At the first, a staff member looked at me as if I’d suggested lining the platforms with ornamental teapots.
Later that day I knocked at the portacabin door of Harringay Green Lanes Station. I was met by station supervisor, Sharma, who invited me in for a cup of tea. Looking around the station, I realised how much potential there was, namely in a strip of land about three metres wide running along the north of the site. It was no plush meadow by anyone’s standards, overshadowed by the eastbound platform and covered in long grass and well-established buddleia, but I saw an opportunity to show passers-by it is possible to grow food even in unlikely places….