Checked in at the New Cross pits today, worrying that someone might have pulled up the lovely extra Rudbeckia I put in last week. Luckily its doing fine. The same cannot be said for the pits in general. There has been a disaster, probably from the hands of Lewisham Council.
Essentially for the first time in ages - at least a year, more than that probably, someone has come and 'tidied up'. This person or persons has temporarily cleared the pits of litter - not much there since I've done them twice in the last 2 weeks. All well and fine (for about a week). They have also sheared back the larger shrubs. Not hugely sympathetic, but ok. What is really tragic and upsetting is that they have pulled up a lot of plants, clearly thinking that they were 'weeds'.
The missing plants include, at least: 2 x strawberries, 2 x Verbena Bonariensis, all the teasels, 1 Acanthus, 1 geum, 1 large hardy geranium, 1 x fennel, Crocosmia, self-seeded wild carrots, leucanthemum daisies. These are all bee-friendly (Obviously).
They have left large bare spaces around the 'weeded' remaining plants. This means that the soil will dry out much more quickly, and more importantly that the folk who drop litter here will just fill it all up with rubbish (yes, bitter voice of experience here I know). With a range of flowering plants there is a chance that people might just think 'oh, that's looks nice'.
The big shrubs in the central beds have been wildly cut back. Ok. And the Bay and Fig are still there. But now they have no protection and are vulnerable to the plant vandalism and general fighting/rolling around on the plants that can happen in this neck of the woods.
Is it worth it, Lewisham, or were you planning on actually planting something nectar and pollen-rich? Frankly I'd like to see you donate some decent plants, as well as better instruct your team.