Link Age Southwark – crowdfunding appeal

Can you help Link Age Southwark reach their all or nothing ‘Bloomin’ Lovely’ crowdfunder project target? An all or nothing target means that if they don’t reach their target they receive none of the donations made and the project won’t be funded.

The vision for the Bloomin’ Lovely project is to adapt and expand their gardening service in an extra special way to show that the local community cares about their older friends. As a result of the lockdown most older people have been unable to do any kind of shopping, including buying plants and flowers to spruce up their gardens.

This year, Link Age Southwark’s aim is to adapt their service for those who are shielding, self-isolating or worried about going out, and to bring a bit of colour back into their lives by delivering bedding plants, a bunch of flowers or a houseplant to them.

Link Age Southwark has had to cancel its planned community fundraising events which raise vital funds to facilitate their services. Your support with this project will enable it to make up the shortfall in order to sustain their service provision at a time when it has never been more important.

Link Age Southwark has launched its crowdfunding page project – Bloomin’ Lovely. There are 48 days to reach their all or nothing target of £5,000 and they would really appreciate support with getting the ball rolling on this. There is a Link below to the appeal:

The first donations have come in. Volunteers, patron and donors are planning to contact five people to let them know about Link Age Southwark and this project.

Please support this important appeal for our community and help to generate some interest in the crowdfunder page.

You’ll see the gardening project and a video that brings the gardening element to life.

Thank you for your help with letting people know about this crowdunding project.


Link Age Southwark is a Registered Charity No.1105923


Gardens – Seed Swaps – Food Growing Workshops

Spring has brought out two initiatives at the Rosendale Allotment Association at the Lambeth end of Turney Road.  They are open to everyone whether you have an allotment or not and are a beginner or an expert.

The first is the opportunity to swap seeds and seedlings with other gardeners.  The first swap is on 11 April and full details are here:

Growing Lambeth-Seed Swap-WEB-1

Secondly, Food Growing Workshops start on 27 June with an introduction to organic gardening and the sessions continue in the summer.  Details here:

Growing Lambeth-Food Growing-WEB-1

Garden Enthusiasts Alert!!

St Christopher’s Hospice is again supported by this garden opening.

This year the specific hospice benefit opening is on 7 June.

For both openings there will be wind players from Dulwich Symphony Orchestra playing mostly classical music throughout the afternoon.


103 and 105 Dulwich Village, London SE21 7BJ

Sunday June 7, 2-5 pm for St.Christopher’s Hospice

Sunday June 21, 2-5 pm for the National Gardens Scheme (yellow book)

Both days:  £5 entry, children free, No dogs.

Teas, cakes and PLANTS for sale

All proceeds go to the charities concerned.


IMG_0968Following our first article earlier this Summer  by ‘MATT plants and gardens’ on the importance of improving the look of Turney Road through the ‘greening’ of front gardens, we have asked another local garden designer, Barbara Samitier to give us her ideas.  

Barbara is a passionate garden designer with 11 years experience of creating beautiful gardens.


First impressions do count! A front garden provides the first impression your guests will get as they walk to your front door. How lovely is it to be welcomed by the scent of a Wisteria and the sound of foliage being brushed by the breeze? Not so inviting when the car or/and the bins are the main focus point, wouldn’t you agree?

Still according to the London assembly it is estimated that in London the area of front gardens being paved over is equivalent to 5,200 football pitches or 22 Hyde Parks. Shocking, right?!

While paving over one front garden might seem of little impact, the difficulties start when neighbours on both sides of the street do the same, effectively tripling the width of the road. Here are some of the consequences that the loss of front gardens for driveways bring:

  • Most drains in urban areas were built many years ago and were not designed to cope with increased rainfall. Paving over front gardens increases the risk of flooding. Gardens can soak up rain, while paving, tarmac and concrete are less porous and increase the amount of rainwater that runs off by as much as 50 per cent. This additional water usually flows into street drains, which can’t always cope with the thousands of extra litres in a storm. The excess can then go back up people’s front drives to floods their homes. RHS Principal Environmental Advisor, Rebecca Matthews Joyce, explains, “The water has to go somewhere and, even if you are not flooded, it might be affecting your neighbours downhill.”
  • Hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt collect pollution (oil, petrol, brake dust, etc) that is washed off into the drains. Many drains carry rainwater directly to streams and rivers.
  • Hard paving can cause severe subsidence as it reduces or stops rainfall getting into the ground. This can cause the soil to shrink, especially as it is predominantly clay around here, which has consequences for structures built on it. Garden walls, paths and houses may develop severe cracks.
  • Hard surfaces absorb heat in the day and release it at night, making it hot and difficult to sleep. This is part of the ‘urban heat island effect’, which can also be responsible for poorer air quality and localised weather conditions, such as thunderstorms.

If all the above still doesn’t make you want to tear up the tarmac, maybe a financial incentive will? I believe that green front gardens (as opposed to grey driveways) increase the value of your property. Indeed a series of lush front gardens lining the road makes the street a leafy one, which in real-estate terms is synonym with desirable, which is synonym with expansive. Each time one of your neighbours plants a hedge or a tree in front of their house, hear: kerching!

The importance and impact of the front garden is a perfect illustration of how little things can make a huge difference. If we all put an effort into our front gardens this can transform a whole area’s landscape and increase the quality of life of the local community.

So come on beautiful people of SE21, let’s unite and let’s have more green! Let’s get into action and dig this ugly concrete and paving slabs out. Start planting even if it’s just one beautiful shrub or small tree, or even just a climber on the house façade! Every little helps.

Barbara Samitier


Later this Summer, we will publish Barbara’s tips and ideas for beautiful front gardens.

Successful charity fund raising through plant sales at 127 Turney Road

Green-fingered neighbours at 127 Turney Road have had several successful plant sales on their drive this summer in aid of charity.


They operated an honesty box system whereby passers-by simply took their chosen plant and left the money.


Priced between £4 and £1, their plants were mostly in bloom so that people knew what they are buying. They had pink and purple Geraniums, blue and white Campanulas, a Melancholy Thistle, white Pulmonarias, Sisyrinchiums and a variety of other small plants.


All the money raised goes to the St Bride’s Restoration Appeal.  They sold enough plants, through the generosity of neighbours, to reach a total of £365.20.


They are very grateful for this support.


Open Garden May 12th 2-5pm

15a Sydenham Hill SE26 6SH

Entrance £3, under 12s free.

This is an unusual and delightful hillside garden with lawns and beds descending to a woodland area full of rhododendrons, azaleas and other shade-loving plants which, with the bulbs, will be in full flower. This area is relatively new, having been redesigned and planted over the past five years, and is a good example of what can be achieved in a few years. There are many interesting plants and the owner, Sue Marsh, will be on hand to identify plants and talk about the inspiration for the development of the garden.

Tea and cakes will be on sale and all proceeds will go to Paxton Green Time Bank.

To learn about time banking and Paxton Green TB in particular, visit

There is unlimited parking on Sydenham Hill.

Limited wheelchair access due to slopes and steps. No dogs, please.

Open Garden May 12th – for full information

Paxton Green Time Bank, Kingswood House, Seeley Drive, Kingswood Estate, Dulwich, SE21 8QR, 020 8670 0990


Limited company number 6707365, charity number 1132577

The ‘Greening’ of Turney Road

At the Turney Road Residents Association AGM, a number of residents spoke of their concern at the loss of planting, hedging and ‘greenery’ in the Road and the growth of non-porous hard surfaces, largely for multiple car parking.

Their concerns revolved around two issues: increased exposure to flood damage from loss of run-off but also the loss of green space and planting -an important amenity for us all. As one person said ‘’if everyone paved over their front with no green at all, Turney Road would look awful, so those who have done this are relying on others to maintain the street environment.“

A recent article in SE21 magazine reported : “ according to the London Assembly, the area of front gardens in London being paved over is equivalent to 22 Hyde Parks or 5,200 football pitches”!!

We undertook to have a look at this issue and to work with others in the Road to suggest what could be done to maintain and improve our environment.

The Dulwich Estate ‘Rules’.

The Dulwich Estate Management Scheme has a number of rules and guidelines about what they call ‘The Public Realm’.

The guidelines state that front gardens should be at least 50% planted, with fences or hedges maintained, including those between properties. Most houses in the street are in breach of both of these. You can view the guidelines as follows:

Turney Road is also in the Dulwich Village Conservation Area and Conservation Area guidelines apply. You can view these at:

Turney Road falls into sub-Area5 and sub –Area 3.

The guidelines on front gardens and materials are mentioned in part 3 of the document  paras 5.2.2, 5.2.3, 5.3.

The Draft Dulwich Supplementary Planning Document is currently being consulted on and is available to view :

Sections 6.8.2-6.8.4 refer to paving over of gardens, which is considered “unacceptable”.

Over the years there has been a lack of enforcement and it is probably not practical to insist strictly on the guideline in retrospect. Most of the loss of planting has been due to the development of hard standing for cars.

However, the Estate, as part of its management plan, is concerned to halt the future development of hard-standing, to enforce the guidelines for any new development and to take every opportunity to re-instate  planting.

For instance, when a property is sold, they will make the vendor and purchaser aware of any breach of the guidelines, request a plan for rectification and a timetable for this.

In addition, permission for development of any sort (including extensions and loft extensions) will be conditional on rectification of a breach in the guidelines.

We should all be concerned about this issue, however, and as a community, try to do whatever we can to increase planting and develop more green spaces.

As a Residents Association, we are keen to assist with ideas and also by being vigilant about any further loss of planting.

There are already a number of good examples in the Road of imaginative re-instatement of planted areas that also incorporate some space for car parking.

Some residents have used sympathetic designers who have worked with the need to park a car but at the same time introduce more planting.

We will be asking one or two of these designers to give us some practical ideas and tips on the website to encourage everyone to think again about what they can do.

We will also be surveying the Road to estimate more accurately the size of the problem as a baseline, to encourage everyone to make some improvements and to see how far we can improve our environment over the next few years.

So, what can you do?

  • If you are considering changes to your front garden, consider how to include more planting and how you can re-instate at least some garden.
  • Have a look at some of the new gardens that have made imaginative  improvements.
  • If its difficult to substantially increase green areas at the moment, think about tubs and pots, hedging and planting along fences to bring in more green
  • If car parking is a difficult issue for you, then consider ways of retaining car space while introducing more porous materials or leaving gaps in paving to allow water drainage. Even better, introduce some green under your car area.
  • Re-instate fencing and borders along the boundary with your neighbour and consider growing creeping plants along this.

Look out for future news and articles and advice on the website.

Hopefully now Summer is at last here, you’ll feel inspired to think about your front garden as well as your back garden and improve the ‘public realm’ of Turney Road. So get planting!!

At the Summer Party on June 21st, gardener Tony Pizzoferro will be giving a demonstration so look out for this.

News items for Burbage Rd residents

Meet our Councillors on 4th March: The Dulwich Society is hosting an event to hear from and question our local Councillors. All three political parties will be represented and it’s an opportunity for us to understand and make our feelings known about the Council’s current and future policies as they affect transport, education, the environment, planning, policing and health. This event takes place on Monday 4th March at 7.30pm at the Michael Croft Theatre, Alleyn’s School, Townley Road, SE22 8SU. Young residents who will be voting for the for the first  time in the next Council elections may find it particularly helpful to come along.

The Velodrome inner track, Multi Use Games Area and floodlighting are underway: Work has started on the site and is intended to be completed by the Good Friday Meeting which will launch the new facilities and also the campaign to raise finance for the third and final phase of development, making good the presently dilapidated pavilion. The Residents’ Association has been involved in agreeing hours  of access for the contractors ( including limiting access during the busy school run) and in monitoring the works generally. Issues arising with the works are being taken up and dealt with as we go along and generally all seems well, but get in touch if there’s anything troubling you. Peter McAnany, (07748 632950) the F M Conway Project Manager is acting as Public Liaison Officer and is also available to answer any questions.

What’s your view about the proposal for a replacement pedestrian island at the junction of Burbage Road and Dulwich Village?  We remain very concerned about the safety of this junction, especially for pedestrians. A return to the previous configuration has always been our aim but seems unlikely under safety evaluation criteria and given budget constraints. However, in response to strong local feeling, a plan has been drawn up to reinstate a pedestrian island just back from the junction and this is attached for your information. The finance for this plan has been earmarked but will not be committed without residents’ approval, which needs to be given in March. Council Officers will explain the plan to us and collect our feedback at a meeting to be arranged shortly, but in the meantime it is  important that if you have any views, for or against, if you don’t mind what happens, or have any questions you contact me directly as soon as possible . As this is such a key issue for us, and the sums of public money are large ( c£18K),  I don’t feel able to volunteer a representative view without explicit feedback from as many residents as possible. So I’d appreciate a quick email response from everyone. (Acceptance of this proposal will not prevent us from pursuing the issue of how the current configuration was changed without our views being taken into account.)  Thanks.   Proposed Burbage pedestrian island

Should we lobby for culling urban foxes?  Given the disturbing recent news involving urban foxes and infants, some residents have raised the question of whether we should lobby for measures to cull the urban fox population. I’d be interested to hear your views on this.

Does household closed circuit TV help to deter or catch criminals?  Some of us have CCTV trained upon our own property and a neighbouring residents’ association has asked whether we think it helps as some of their own members are considering it too. I’ll be grateful if any residents who have it in operation will let me know what they think so we can pass our views on.

We have until 6th March to respond to the Mayor’s survey on his Office’s Policing Plan: Details of how to do this by post or via the internet are on the attachment above. Police and Crime Questionnaire

Would you consider opening your garden to raise money for St Christopher’s Hospice?  Last year over £20,000 was raised for the hospice in this way. You could open your garden and hold your own tea and cakes party or perhaps host a barbeque.


For more information about the Open Gardens season or to hear more about their events please contact Saja Shaheen, Events Fundraiser, on 020 8768 4715..

The resurfacing of Burbage Road seems to have gone smoothly! Some residents have been speed testing the humps –  apparently for altruistic purposes – and report that they seem smaller, but we have been assured that the humps’ ‘sinusoidal design’  is fit for purpose and now the Borough standard.

Please put Friday 21st June in your diary for the  Turney & Burbage  Summer Party at the Edward Alleyn Club and let me know if you have any ideas for the party or can help either beforehand or on the day -the organisation usually falls to a very small (and worn out) group of neighbours. I also hope to update the email database shortly and volunteers to cover a small section of the road would be appreciated (it’s a good way to meet people).