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Waste Watch has been awarded a grant by the City of London Corporation to help the residents of the Golden Lane Estate create the kind of environment they want to live in. We are therefore keen to get your ideas on what changes you would like to see to your environment, and how we can help you to realise them.  To do this, we intend to hold an Open Space event in the Community Centre to establish what you might like to do with this project.  We’ll also have a table at the Market Day so do please come and have a chat with us then.  

We hope that you will see this as an opportunity to make happen any environmental ambitions that you have been harbouring, either for yourselves or for your community. What we are offering in support is lots of experience, information and advice; time to help organise events and activities; connections with the relevant teams at the City of London to help speed things along; and plenty of enthusiasm! I've already seen there's a discussion on this forum about becoming a transition town and we'd love to support you in achieving that.   

If you have any ideas for changes that you would like to see happen, you can share them with us as a comment in this discussion thread, in person at the market day or the Open Space event, or directly via jonathan.hazell@wastewatch.org.uk or on 020 7549 0317.

For more information about Waste Watch and the work we do to help people waste less, here’s a short video.

Thank you!

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Good idea.  The first transition town in the UK is Totnes.  Its population is approximately 7000 and its high street supports four organic butchers shops and most food is sourced locally.  Clearly there are huge differences between Totnes and the City of London but...the residential population of the City is of a similar size, the housing density is high and many residents choose or do not need to own cars. There is already a high level of community action on Golden Lane.  The carbon footprint of this part of London has been shown by the City of London to be considerably lower than in many outlying parts of London and there could be a number of ways of recycling waste and reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.  It would be good for Wastewatch to use this grant to take some of these ideas forward.


Here are some initial thoughts:

  1. Waste recycling bins in prominent positions across the estate so we do not have to wait for collections
  2. End the use of plastic bags to hold recycled waste
  3. Installation of worm bins near the allotments to encourage the recycling of organic waste
  4. End the use of plastic bags for the recycling of organic waste
  5. Proper collection of electrical goods that are now needed
  6. Replacement of Estate lighting with low energy bulbs 
  7. Opening of the greengrocers under Crescent House to open inwards to encourage use of a local supplier
  8. Encouragement of more greengrocers to supply Whitecross Street Market
  9. Extension of the allotments scheme to create an allotment for every householder
  10. Creation of a flower garden next to the allotments
  11. Creation of a herb garden on the shallow lawn next to the playground/outside Hatfield
  12. Opening of the roof garden and the creation of a communal allotment in the large planters on the roof of Great Arthur House
  13. Creation of properly planted meadowland in agreed places on the estate

Hi Paul,

many thanks for these ideas, and many thanks to everyone who stopped at our stall at the Market Day to share their ideas. It was wonderful to meet so many enthusiastic people! Below is a list of all the things you suggested. From the conversations we had i reckon the most popular  proposals were finding more space for the gardening group, developing composting facilities on the estate, and providing secure cycle parking, but i hope by listing all the ideas we received you will weigh in with your preferences and set the direction for us all to follow.


As for choosing that direction, rather than having a separate meeting i think it makes most sense if we piggyback on the proposed discussion of the Open Space Survey results as I understand from Wendy that there is quite a lot of overlap between the suggestions you gave us at the market day and the issues explored through that survey. Combining the two should therefore ensure that we don't waste any time pursuing things that the corporation has flatly ruled out. But before all that, here are all the ideas we've had so far. Where people have added to a suggestion i've used semi-colon's to seperate the original from later additions:

  • A communal herb garden where the paddling pool was
  • Plant the top of Great Arthur House; and the other flat roofs - good for drainage
  • Composting our food waste on the estate that residents could use; compost compost compost
  • Ban plastic bags!
  • Secure cycle parking; we really need this; Agreed!
  • Double glazing
  • Gardening service for elderly
  • More shared spaces for sitting and chatting - benches + greenery; trees
  • Community food co-op - cheaper, less packaging, a service, needs to come to/deliver to ill/elderly
  • Open the playground more often
  • No waiting list for gardening group - there's loads of space, no need to be exclusive; more space for growing veggies!
  • City Bee in this estate

Do reply to this thread if there's anything else you'd like to see considered or a previous suggestion that you particularly support.


Thanks again!


Hi All,


many thanks again for all your wonderful ideas, please see the above for everything proposed so far. To help us choose which of these we will collectively focus on, how would a meeting at 7:30pm on Thursday 7th July suit anyone interested in being involved? I have booked the community hall for this date and time but if there are some people who would really like to be involved but can’t make that date then please feel free to suggest an alternative. As it’s dinner time i'll bring some nibbles and refreshments but would really appreciate it if you could bring your own crockery from home to save on things getting thrown away.


As always, anyone who would like to get in touch beforehand, please do so by posting here or contacting me via any of the means listed in my original posting.


Hope to see many of you on the 7th,



I would be keen to be involved but cannot do that date.  If another comes up, let me know.


Ok I have a provisional booking for the community hall at the same time (7:30pm) on Tuesday 12th July. If that would suit people better let me know and i'll switch the booking!



P.S. For more info on some of the ideas up for discussion, this website has everything you need to know about food co-ops: http://www.sustainweb.org/foodcoops/about/ and this one an introduction to timebanking: http://www.timebanking.org.uk/ 

Just to confirm the project meeting will be on Tuesday 12th July at 7:30pm in the Community Hall. I'll be coming round the estate next week to promote the meeting and answer any questions you might have so look out for me then. Christine i really hope you're not in Nottingham as it would be great if you could be there!


Looking forward to meeting many of you and then getting this project going,



Hello Jonny

I'm sorry I can't make this date but I would love to hear more about this.

I really would love to see more trees on the Estate, as well as seating as there are few places to sit and enjoy the estate.  

I also want to encourage more people to cycle .... starting with more bike stands/lock-ups on the estate.

Hope the meeting goes well. Lee


Wouldn't it be great to have more variety of wildlife on the estate. Butterflies, songbirds. This could presumably be achieved with the right kind of planting. Measures to discourage the pigeons, crows and squirrels could also be taken although I'm not sure that fits with the remit of this meeting.

Count me in for 12th July.


Hi all,


huge thanks to everyone who participated in last night's meeting. For anyone who wanted to attend but was unable to make it, i've uploaded a detailed summary of the meeting for you to look at. To summarise the summary, after discussing all the ideas we'd received previously and any that people there last night had brought to the meeting, 13 ideas were put up for voting. Of these, the 4 favourites were:

1) a pop-up style community cafe

2) a list/rota of volunteers to look after plants in currently plantless communal spaces and lock/unlock public areas that are currently inaccessible on the weekends

3) timebanking to help and connect with fellow residents

4) Making use of rain/grey water on the estate for allotments and gardens.


Each of these ideas has got at least one resident who'll be responsible for promoting it, and i'll be working with these residents to develop an action plan for how we might make these ideas happen, which should be ready for the GLERA meeting on August 9th.


In tandem with these 4 ideas, i'll be organising a range of workshops on things that you can do to reduce your environmental footprint. Ideas i've had so far including saving energy at home (including how to draughtproof your home), growing food on a balcony/in your kitchen, and cycle training, hopefully involving some Boris Bikes for those of you who don't have a bike. All project activities will continue to be publicised via a soon to be developed separate discussion forum on the social network, as well as through posters on the estate (this time not blocking the camera’s view of the door – sorry about that!) and hopefully through lots of your fellow residents talking about them!


Looking forward to this project getting up and running and many thanks again to everyone there last night,




Community Cafe!


Hi everyone,

 we now have a time and date for the first community cafe - Saturday 8th October from 11am-1pm in the Community Hall. More details to follow but we'll definitely have tea, coffee and cake available so put the date in your diary and come and share a cuppa with your fellow Golden Lane residents!

Hi Jonny.

Thanks for an informative evening.  One thing I needed to ask you is that, because many people were not able to attend your evening, and as voting took place, which I, and others, were not aware would happen that evening, that means that many were not able to vote on the proposed issues. 

The only reason I proposed, for example, a water feature on Hatfield House lawn, was because several people proposed this in the recent survey on Open Spaces, but, for whatever reason, were not able to attend that evening, so could not vote.  Of course, the most popular ideas on the night are extremely worthy, but does that mean any others have absolutely no chance of ever being fulfilled?  The reason I ask is because this concern has been expressed to me.

Many thanks. 

Hi Maria,

many thanks for your message. In answer to your comments, if this is something that you and your fellow residents feel strongly about and are happy to take the lead then i will do what i can to support you. One thing i would say is that there were various ideas raised about possible changes to Hatfield Lawn, so we would need to have a fair means of choosing between them.

As for the voting, i'm sorry this came as a surprise to you and i agree it was quite a formal way of doing things. However, the meeting was billed as being to decide what ideas we would pursue through this project and voting seemed to be the fairest way of doing this. That said, i hope the ideas chosen at that meeting will be just the start of this project and the connections and momentum developed through working together on these first deas will be carried forward into acting on all the other excellent suggestions we received!


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