We have begun the process of consultation in relation to the green space behind Canalside’s Bryant Court flats. It’s part of the Everyday on Canalside Open Space activities.

Today we leafleted Bryant Court residents to get their views on transforming the garden behind their block. Currently, there is an outside gym which is underused; its mostly used by those exercising their dogs.

The majority of the residents we consulted were open to the idea of revitalising the space and wanted to see some form of landscaping, such as stepping stones, as well as seating. Some also wanted an area where they could grow their own food. Other requests included compost bins and rainwater harvesting. There was also a suggestion for films to be screened in the space during the summer, so that the space could become a real community hub.

The residents were mainly of an older age group, and there was a diverse ethic mix – including Turkish, Vietnamese and African  – reflecting the demographics of the local area. Language was a key challenge and we’ll be using volunteer translators in our next round of information.

Some residents also had concerns about the security and maintenance of the garden, feedback which we’ll be sending back to Metropolitan in charge of Canalside.

We also spoke to local businesses to find out what they would like to see happening in the largely unused green space.  Turning Earth, a ceramics studio located under the railway arches, said they would benefit from access to the open space and this would mean they could keep an eye on the garden for security purposes.

Image above of the Bryant Court green space in May 2014 © Marcia Chandra.