For the third time, the Millfields gardeners’ lockup was broken into last week in broad daylight, and all the tools stolen. Thieves drove a van in at 11 in the morning, cut the padlock, loaded up and left. It seems the theft isn’t covered by insurance. So once again, the gardeners are left without the equipment they need to get on with their work.
There seem to be two underlying problems with the park storage –
- The depot is shared between the park and Hackney Homes. As a result, the depot can be open with no park staff present, and HH staff don’t challenge strangers monkeying with the park lockups and equipment.
- There doesn’t seem to have been any upgrading of locks. A simple box around the padlock would defeat bolt cutters, a pretty standard feature on industrial containers like these.
Maybe if MUG had taken it up with a councillor there would have been action — but why should that have to be how things work?
From Alice Westlake …
Over the summer I’ve been taking my two young kids out around North Millfields to see what flora and fauna we can spot. The idea, as I understand it, is just to build up knowledge about what lives on Millfields. Well, so far the answer seems to be: nothing very unusual! We have seen lots of dandelions and daisies (or daisy-lions and dandies, as Hector calls them), ladybirds, bees, woodlice and something that may have been a soldier beetle – and taken and drawn plenty of pictures of them! It’s good fun to do with small children, and I am sure if we persevere, and with a little help from other like minded folk, we will start to build up a more complete picture which includes some of the less regular visitors to our park.
At the end of the summer term, at my instigation, a small group from Laurie’s class also went on a biodiversity walk around N Millfields and took some pictures which they posted on iSpot, of earwigs, damsons (?) and fungi.
One place we focused our attention on was the wildflower belt alongside the river. When we first started looking there, this had been newly planted and looked quite pretty although it seemed to consist exclusively of poppies, nettles, comfrey and hoary mustard, most of which can be found all over the marshes. There were many different types of bees frequenting it, bumbles and solitary, although I noticed that there were no butterflies – why not?
When we went back a few weeks later, the flowers had all finished and the whole scene was quite different; it just looked like an un-loved and weedy verge, was very full of litter and I hardly saw a single bee. In one place where the fence had been broken down people had clearly been trampling across it in large numbers as the plants had been completely flattened over a wide section.
Anyhow, we will do another trip soon to look out for interesting fungi and spiders, now that autumn is here…
If you’re like minded folk and would like to join Alice, Hector & Laurie looking for mushrooms and spiders, please email .
Laurie is at Southwold School.