Just over 10 years ago I started working from home and began to become much more aware of my own community. I would go out shopping msot days and gradually learnt much more about the area I’d lived in for 20 years. Over the first few months of working at home I became more and more aware of, and irritated by, rubbish that had been dumped in the streets. It reached teh point where I felt I had to do something about it. After having a letter complaining about the state of our local streets published in the Ealing Gazette I was contacted by Susan Wyatt at the Council and she told me about the volunteer Streetwatchers scheme. Here was an easy way to do something! I joined up and have stayed a Streetwatcher ever since. As a Streetwatcher you get direct access to the Council’s contact centre vie email of a free phone number and you can give as little or as much time as you want. A weekly walk around your street or streets noting any problems to report works well. And it’s not just dumped rubbish you can report, there’s also broken paving stones, faulty lampposts, dog fouling, missed rubbish collections, abandoned cars amd more. Streetwatchers gives you the chance to help your local community.
Following on from Streetwatchers, Susan has started the volunteer Tree Wardens. She writes:
‘The Tree Care Campaign was launched on 21 March 2012. Members of the public who have a young tree close by in a public space, are asked to make a real difference to its survival. All anyone has to do is save some of their water and apply it to the tree. (Please do not use dishwater as this is very high in salt and other potential pollutants). One bucket a week would be ideal and this should be poured gently around the tree allowing it time soak in. This could make all the difference in the successful establishment of trees in our community. We would need you to be prepared to care for a street tree in your street?
One of the new trees in Melbourne Ave
Ealing was the first London Borough to introduce a Tree Warden scheme last December. Street Trees need to be looked after during the first three years of being planted. Thereafter they are usually fully established and tend to look after themselves. We have recently finished this year’s planting. If you wish to become one of Ealing’s Tree Wardens you will need to be prepared to water the trees during the warmer periods. If there is a newly planted tree outside or close to your house and you would like to care for it we would welcome your support and ensure that you receive brief training with the Tree and Ealing Council on common sense tree related matters.
I am currently looking after four trees in my road and this takes up no more than an hour per fortnight. I have also met some fab residents who love trees as I do. I hope to have all of our recently planted street trees looked after within the next three years by our local residents. We would also really like residents who have trees recently planted outside of their houses assisting us with a tree audit on about July/August of each year.
By agreeing to water and audit the trees ourselves we could cut back massively on costs we pass on to our contractors and double the amount of street trees in Ealing Borough as a consequence. We were once known as Queen of the Suburbs – we could achieve this again with your help.’
There is more information on our website . If you’re interested in helping out with either of these schemes do please contact Susan by email email@example.com.