‘Really exciting’: Community groups to help green up Islington in £1m council initiative

The Artbox charity is one beneficiary of the new funding. Photograph: Islington Council

Community groups are set to work with Town Hall bosses to help green up Islington in a £1m project.

Islington has the lowest amount of green space of any borough in the country and nearly a third of residents do not have gardens.

Highbury Fields is its biggest park with 29 acres, whilst just across the border in Haringey, Finsbury Park spreads to 110 acres.

The council has asked residents to come up with ideas to help transform corners of the borough and create more green spaces as part of its response to the climate emergency.

Islington is one of six London boroughs thought to be most at risk of the effects of climate change, according to a City Hall report.

The Town Hall’s senior politicians this week approved the next two years of its Greening Together initiative.

Environment boss Cllr Rowena Champion said: “It started with a small idea and it ends up growing.”

She told the council’s executive meeting she is “really excited” by the scheme, which follows a year-long pilot.

Green-fingered residents put in 95 applications and 38 community projects were picked. Council staff are working with those selected to turn their ideas into reality.

They include pocket parks and community gardens, including the Winton garden in Caledonian ward, and raised planters at the Sussex Way community gardens in Finsbury Park.

The Amwell Society will plant trees in Clerkenwell to mark its 50th anniversary and there’s even a plan for compost in Tufnell Park.

The scheme also means social enterprise and charity Artbox, which runs an art school for people with learning disabilities, will get help creating a dye garden on the Bemerton estate in Barnsbury.