Forest Hill Society Environment Committee
Environment Matters by Quetta Kaye
Eleven members of the Forest Hill Society form the Environment Committee – aided by occasional volunteers. Activities vary from chasing telephone companies about dirty, broken junction boxes, washing the walls of the underpass, organising group litter picks, arranging for solar powered lights in the trees outside the station, persuading local businesses to sponsor tubs of plants, and planting activities in the town centre.
Our planting efforts are concentrated around the railway station and town centre in an effort to add colour and brighten the streets for locals and commuters. Plants create a sense of well-being and mental health, but also counter pollution and provide much needed sustainable niches for bees and other insects.
This year the Forest Hill Society received its seventh “Outstanding” award from the RHS’s In Bloom “It’s Your Neighbourhood” category and, in addition, we were awarded a National Certificate of Distinction.
In October, over a hundred mixed tulip and daffodil bulbs were planted outside the station’s entrance and the platform planters given an overhaul. At a recent Horniman Farmers’ Market we encouraged children to plant conkers and acorns in disposable pots, which we hope to be able to plant in the Horniman Play Triangle in the Spring.
The committee works closely with local nature reserves at Albion Millennium Green, Dacres Road and Devonshire Road. We are also supported by the Horniman Gardens who supply plants for our yearly “Edible High Road Give-away”, when hundreds of edible plants are given away at our stalls near the station to encourage people to grow their own and think green.
Street litter and overflowing bins are constant irritants which we pursue through our local councillors and directly with Lewisham Council’s FixMyStreet. We would urge more people to complain when they see litter blowing around from bins.
Clean Air in SE23:
With Clean Air in SE23 and Street Trees for Living, we are promoting the need for more immediate and stronger action to tackle the poor quality of air locally. We have had meetings with London’s Deputy Mayor, Heidi Alexander, to highlight clean air issues, and we are hoping to install air monitoring devices around Forest Hill to see the results of the ULEZ and its boundary on the South Circular.
Car idling is a continuing contributor to air pollution and our intervention has led to a banner being hung at the rear of Sainsbury’s car park urging people not to sit with their car engine’s idling. We hope to see more banners across the borough.
Whatever the Forest Hill Society’s Environment Committee undertakes, all our endeavours are reliant on volunteers – whether it is joining a rota to water plants, or drawing attention to other pressing environmental issues. So please do contact us to let us have your thoughts or to lend a hand.
Quetta Kaye is Chair of Forest Hill Society’s Environment Committee.