Who are the Guerrilla Gardeners?
The Guerrilla Gardeners (GG) are a volunteer group who work in small teams to tackle overgrown areas of the village. The group is supported by the Parish Council in line with our overall aim of improving the appearance of the village. There have been many volunteer groups in the village, but this effort was spearheaded by Councillor Martyn Colvey in 2019 to address the reducing highway and verge maintenance following Dorset Council service cutbacks.
As you can imaging, the Covid-19 lockdown brought a halt to their activity along with everything else. However, some residents undertook tasks in their own area and the initiative has started to re-emerge with great results.
What have the Guerrilla Gardeners been doing?
The grass verges on the High Street/Old School Green junction have been mown, and kept neat and mown, throughout. A small team have also cleaned up the War Memorial gutters and verges, and a third group have given a spare plot in Hannams Close a complete overhaul.
As the school reopened, many parents were concerned with the narrowing of the pavement on the west side of Wareham Road and so the Guerrilla Gardeners then moved onto that task. The goal was to find the edge of the original pavement tarmac surface and after much cutting and digging of the creeping bank, they have widened the pavement by around half a metre (18 inches) and even uncovered some long-forgotten manhole covers. The overall improvement is significant and while there remains a couple of sections to complete, the Guerrilla Gardeners have shown us what can be achieved. Moving forward, the GGs will tackle the pavement area from Eldons Drove to the Rose & Crown junction.
The Rec is another task area. A number of overgrown spots have already been cleared near Rocket Park and around the Eldons Drove car park. Following this, the GGs will be turning their attention to finishing off the Eldons Drove Walk, from the Rec down to Eldons Drove, and clear away more over the overgrowth there.
As a temporary measure, the waste cuttings, branches and debris will be stored on the Rec. This will be cleared away by the PC in the Spring, along with any remaining spoil from the car park and path projects.
When do the Guerrilla Gardeners meet up?
The Guerrilla Gardeners usually meet up on Tuesday mornings for a couple of hours. It is completely voluntary, and you can join in as little or often as you wish. If you are interested, please contact Martyn Colvey to find out more details.
How do the Guerrilla Gardeners choose their task areas?
The Guerrilla Gardeners started by just looking around the village and noting badly overgrown areas. They also listen to suggestions from people around the village, such as clearing the Wareham Road path to school. If you know of an area which you feel needs attention, but you don’t think you can manage by yourself, please contact Martyn.