Wednesday, 28 October 2015

** BGCG NEWS BULLETIN ** **Issue 2**


**PICNIC AND ACTIVITY DAY**




We raised £250.08 at our fun picnic day. If you are new here and somehow didn't know about it, even though we went on, and on, and on to anyone who would listen! It was a huge success and you can read all about the day in our previous blog post, just click here.


**WATER UPDATE**

We haven't been struggling as much lately, because the sky has delivered much rain. Thank you sky. We are still working with the Council on this matter.


**TREE UPDATE**

The trees have finally got some attention thanks to Harrow Council and George the tree man! Mark met with him a couple of months ago and since then, the team have been in the gardens cutting down large bits of deadwood and branches to make the park safer and a bit lighter.





They have taken into consideration the bad effect that years of being left to grow naturally has caused. Sadly but necessarily this means chopping back quite harshly in some places. They explained that trees growing so close to each other has caused them to grow very awkwardly in the wrong places and they would need to cut back a bit more for safety. They were very informative and involved and it was really great to talk with them as I'm someone who clearly doesn't know much about trees, as you can tell from my descriptions here!

We have some nice ideas for this lovely old stump we've been left with, in the photo below. Email us if you have any ideas you'd like us to consider, bernaysgardens@hotmail.com


We now have much needed light on the beds and also rain water has been able to get to them a bit more. The plants will grow back lush as ever along with our newly planted fig and mulberry trees for next summer.

Thank you Harrow Council for getting that sorted for us!


**BIN UPDATE**


We were promised a new bin by Harrow Council. Well you know what? They only blooming well gave us two!

Blooming? Like flowers? Geddit?! Sorry guys!

Thanks again Harrow council and John Williams for your continued support. The difference has been amazing over the summer. Inevitably, we have had some naughty littering since college started but we're really trying to keep on top of it and talk to all of the students to get them to understand. We have notices up everywhere and also do regular litter picks. If you see someone litter, please just ask them nicely if they will pick it up. Usually people feel guilty and they apologise.

You can see one of the lovely new bins in the photo below which also shows gorgeous Mollie (Lesley's niece) and our Mark on a volunteer gardening Sunday a few weeks ago.




**AUTUMN BULB PLANTING AND VOLUNTEERING**



 We have been planting away like mad over the last few weeks and with very little human power between us, we have to just take it in bite sized chunks and get together whenever we can for a few hours here and there. We have different sets of skills which also helps.

It's bulb planting season and some very generous local people donated us lots of them. Squires Garden centre a whole sack of daffodils and lots of smaller packs from local residents mean that spring is going to be just gorgeous in the gardens. However, the tough job of turning over the solid ground needed to be done first.

There's also the constant battle to collect bits of rubbish and leaves and weeds that pop up every week around the flowers, that also has needed a quite a bit of attention.

It's incredibly satisfying though, especially at the end of each session when we tidy up and look back in through the gates at everything looking fresh and lovely and we really enjoy being in there chatting to everyone that passes by or pops in to say hello. So thanks to those who do!




















Above are our trusty gardening dogs, Turk and Max. Well behaved, soppy, clean, great company... but more about that further into the newsletter, we need to have a further discussion about dogs below.

**DOG UPDATE**


We have had to put up signs about keeping dogs on leads. Let me explain a bit of back story.

The gardens have always had a no dog rule. When we started out with the council this year we were allowed to reassess that rule as a group. We decided to offer up poo bags for free and see how things went because we like dogs and  they would bring more friendly people into the gardens.

Even with our good intentions,  from the beginning, we had a problem with a big doberman coming in regularly and the owner not being in control. On many occasions, we asked the owner to please keep her dog on the lead. The dog is very big and snarls and barks at everyone. The owner tells us she is putting it on the lead, however we have caught her one too many times letting it run around the gardens and it escapes into the church field where there are vulnerable children plus, it's private property.

The problem is, this dog runs all over the beds and attacks other dogs aggressively, including mine. The owner cannot seem to control it.

Another local residents group have noticed it as well. So finally, we are exhausted, we have reported the situation to the local police. For now, we have displayed clear signs up about keeping dogs on leads.We're just sad that one person makes it difficult as many other dogs come to play in the gardens with no problems at all.

If you see the doberman in the gardens, please report it by calling 101. There aren't dog wardens in the area any more and for the most part, we don't need them. We will not tolerate people bringing dangerous dogs in and closing the gate to make it into their own private exercise pen for a dog they can't control. The gardens should be safe for everyone.

**TARMAC RUBBLE UPDATE**




There was a pile of tarmac rubble on the footpath for as long as I can remember, so much so, we just kind of didn't see it any more. About 3 weeks ago, again at an Elm Park Residents meeting, a local mentioned it to me and a few others.


I reported it to the council that week and they have cleared it all up. Look how lovely!





Just remember, if you see a problem in your local area, there's a lovely form you can fill out on the Harrow council website, and it does work. I've proved it 3 times! 

***DONATIONS***

We have been donated some new tools by Graham Hill. Now we're just trying to track down a shed to keep them in.

The Lovely Victoria Seco donated a button heart, a gorgeous glass bird and a rose bush which is in the front bed. We've yet to install the other pieces, we like to ensure they are high up near the fairies!

Many people contributed over the last few months and I'm scared I'll forget some, but we've had bulbs, Marsha Gordon bought a heather, Squires donated the 3 palms, Andrea Goodman donated some bulbs and many people their time and smiles, but it all helps!

**COMMUNITY NOTICE BOARD**


There is a new community board on the front gates which is much stronger and should last at least one winter. It was made from upcycled wood. Please feel free to put notices on there.

And finally, we will be featuring in My Stanmore News. They've enjoyed our updates so much they have offered me and Lesley de Meza a Stanmore Positive Action Community Column every month. So look out for our articles in your post box. If you haven't already joined the Stanmore Positive Action Group on facebook, PLEASE CLICK HERE

Thanks for reading and see you in 2016 when we publish our next newsletter.