Princes Gardens Restoration Project 

The Princes Gardens central reservation has been transformed by a three-year residents association project to clear and replant it in a way that will be beautiful and support nature for many years to come.

 

It's hard to remember now how overgrown the area had become, a refuge for rodents and magnet for fly tipping. The idea of restoring it was approved in principle at the 2017 Annual General Meeting. Consultations, fundraising and design followed, and a pilot section was cleared over the winter of 2017/18. Following a pause for the bird nesting season, work started in September 2018 on the second, main section which was finished - with another gap for bird nesting - over the following 15 months.

Literally tons of dead and dying trees and shrubs have been removed and the old rockery at the southern end was cleared with the help of a digger. 25 new trees and dozens of shrubs have been planted, along with areas of wildflower meadow and a rose bed at the southern end of Princes Gardens. By Spring 2020 it was really looking good.

It is natural that there should be lots of flowers and blossom in a garden estate. But the project team paid a lot of attention to safety - greatly improving visibility for people crossing and living in the area - and wildlife. There are wood piles to encourage bug life, the trees were chosen to support bees and 10 new bird boxes have been put up around the Estate.

None of this would have happened without a massive effort from the residents who co-ordinated and supported the work; Ealing Council’s Transform Your Space fund; nearly 70 other sponsors and individual residents who contributed to the crowdfunding effort; or the Estate’s gardener, Patrick Corcoran, and his team.

 

Watch out on Twitter (@hhgeranews) and this website for details the celebration (postponed because of Coronavirus) to mark the project’s official opening.

 

Project documents 

Click the links below:
 

Project timeline

  • 3 May 2020: Nature-themed community event planned to celebrate completion... is postponed due to Coronavirus!

  • September 2018: Work begins on main phase clearance and ground works

  • 3 August 2018: Planning permission application for tree works on main section - approved without any amendments

  • 1 July 2018: A watering rota of residents is set up to save our new planting from drought

  • 25 June 2018: As temperatures soar, residents are asked to keep an eye on local street trees

  • 23 June 2018: Another chance to update on progress at Playstreet on Monks Drive

  • 8 June 2018: An exciting day as the wildflower turf finally arrives

  • 13 May 2018: Community gardening in the rose garden - another chance to catch up!

  • 28 April 2018: First Playstreet of the year with project team members on hand to talk about the work done so far and what will happen next

  • 21 April 2018: One of our new trees, a lovely Amelanchier, is in full flower

  • 13 March 2018: Pilot phase planting is complete and the first blossom in bloom

  • 29 January 2018: The first new trees are planted

  • 3 January 2018: Work begins on the pilot section

  • 4 December 2017: Contractors invited to bid for first, pilot section of the work

  • 2 December 2017: Plans on display at drop-in session at Café 11 (3-5pm)


  •  approved by Houses CommitteePilot section design30 November 2017: 

  • 19 November 2017: Planning application for tree works (PP-06547035) submitted to Ealing Council

  • 15 November 2017: Working group agrees detailed design proposal for pilot section and tender process for approval by Houses Committee

  • 14 November 2017: Special edition newsletter circulated to all flats and houses

  • 1 November 2017: Inaugural working group meeting agrees implementation in two phases

  • 24 October 2017: Mayor of London promises £5,000 from Greener City Fund. We are fully funded, with a day to spare.

  • 22 October 2017: Community gardening morning

  • 19 October 2017: Grimshaw Estate Agent pledges £200 to our project

  • 16 October 2017: HHGERA Houses Committee meeting sets up implementation working group and agrees framework for revising design following consultation

  • 11 October 2017: Another incredibly generous pledge of £3,000 from Car Giant

  • 11 October 2017: Ealing Council confirms a funding pledge of £32,600 under its Transform Your Space programme - leaving us just £4,682 still to find by the deadline!

  • 1 October 2017: Brilliant £150 pledge from Conway Chemist at West Acton 

  • 30 September 2017: Harvest Festival themed Playstreet raises £265 for project

  • 29 September 2017: Verbal confirmation from Ealing Council that it will cover the remainder of the project budget provided we can raise another £5,000. We await confirmation!

  • 16/17 September 2017: Flower Festival at Holy Family church

  • 13 September 2017: Working group meeting with local Police and Community Safety team

  • 5 September 2017: We hear Ealing Council is supporting the project from its Transform Your Space fund - but tantalisingly, we have to wait to find out what it is offering

  • 2 September 2017: Drop-in session Café 11 for residents to share updates on the project

  • 30 August 2017: Working group meeting

  • 25 August 2017: Ealing Council WAS due to send invitations to shortlisted projects for £250,000 Transform Your Space fund to present their plans

  • 20 August 2017: Our Twitter account is launched - @PGCherryWalk

  • 10 August 2017: Door to door consultation of houses on the Princes Gardens 'straight' are complete. Road safety, privacy, noise and pollution control emerge as key themes to feed into the final design. Comments also invited online via Survey Monkey.

  • 6 August 2017: Deadline to submit funding requests for Ealing Council's £250,000 Transform Your Space (TYS3) fund is met - we're in the mix!

  • 29 July 2017: Playstreet - project team members are on hand and material on display   

  • 27 July 2017: Fundraising seminar organised by Spacehive to support projects unfunded by the Mayor of London... lots of encouragement and good advice on how to meet our target

  • 24 July 2017: Consultation begins on project priorities - house to house visits on the straight section of Princes Gardens, with flyers and posters at West Acton and North Ealing shops

  • 19 July 2017: Mayor of London doesn't allocate us any funds from Crowdfund London - we're disappointed but vow to carry on!

  • 14 July 2017: Consultation flyer delivered to all houses and flats on the Estate (nb if you click through, there are two pages of this), paid for by Japan Services Ltd.

  • 13 July 2017: Hanger Hill Ward Forum allocates £2,000 from 2017/18 budget

  • 13 July 2017: Holy Family school newsletter highlights the project in its Community News section, commenting: "Please do support this very worthy initiative - thank you".

  • 11 July 2017: Working group meeting with Cllr Nigel Sumner

  • 9 July 2017: Plan submitted to Mayor of London's £4m Crowdfund London fund

  • 7 July 2017: West Acton Parent Teacher Association Committee meeting - we hope this will agree to circulate project details to its mailing list

  • 6 July 2017: PayPal account opened to offer another pledging option for people who are unwilling to share their bank account details

  • 1 July 2017: Contact made with Kew Gardens' Grow Wild initiative. This year's community projects budget has all been spent but there may be some wildflower seed available in the Autumn. Agree to stay in touch.

  • 27 June 2017: Cllr Nigel Sumner forwards an offer from TfL to supply 20 trees to the project! Trees to be provided by Barchams tree nursery - details to be decided

  • 24 June 2017: Playstreet - plans for the Cherry Trees project are on display and get a really positive reaction - let's hope that translates into pledges! 

  • 16 June 2017: Hurrah! Our project is verified and Spacehive funding goes live

  • 13 June 2017: GoCardless account opened so we can accept pledges

  • 12 June 2017: Working group meets to agree next steps

  • 4 June 2017: Deadline to submit project detail to Spacehive met, with a day to spare!

  • 3 June 2017: Local councillor Nigel Sumner offers support for the project and suggests a bee-friendly planting plan

  • 23 May 2017: Working group meets for the first time, identifies the 'cherry trees' theme and draws up design priorities. Agree to attempt crowdfunding via Spacehive, despite tight timetable.

  • 22 May 2017: HHGERA representative attends 'How to run a crowdfunding campaign' at City Hall - inspirational presenters and project organisers from all over London

  • 14 May 2017: Community gardening day, bringing together volunteers who offered their names at the AGM. Nucleus of project working group formed.

  • 13 May 2017: Capel Manor College approached for design support - Head of Horticulture is supportive and agrees to put call for design help on student notice boards

  • 2 May 2017: Two HHGERA representatives attend a crowdfunding seminar in Southall, organised by Spacehive. Informal discussions with Ealing Council and Spacehive officials suggest our project may interest funders

  • 30 April 2017: HHGERA Annual General Meeting. Initial plans and costings displayed. Meeting agrees service road gates take priority but requests Association officers to keep working on Princes Gardens plan and investigate other sources of funding 

  • 7 April 2017: Word reaches us, via Hanger Hill Ward Forum, of Crowdfund London - a £4m fund for community projects from the Mayor of London

  • 9 March 2017: Houses Committee meets to discuss priorities. Financial reserves badly depleted by last year's Wheelie Bins preparations. Repairs to service road gates identified as top priority - service charge increased by 50% but no funds for Princes Gardens project.

  • March 2017: First draft design and costings received from Abel Gardeners

  • December 2016: HHGERA Houses Committee identifies restoration of the Princes Gardens central reservation as a priority

 

* Total excludes £1,000 toward environmental surveys from Japan Services Ltd - promised but not formally pledged on Spacehive.

© Copyright Hanger Hill Garden Estate 2020