News, info, thoughts and links from Lordship Hub, Lordship Rec and Central Tottenham
Black History month at the Rec
October is Black History Month. Although recognised by the US government in 1976, it wasn’t until 1987 when it was first celebrated in London, with the aim of challenging racism and raising awareness of the many contributions that people from African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to our society across the centuries, as their achievements were absent from the history curriculum taught in our schools.
BERNIE GRANT, MP
In 1985, Bernie Grant became the leader of Haringey Council, the first-ever Black person to hold such a position in Europe. In October that year, he publicly supported local youth against police harassment and the institutional racism in the Metropolitan police, when the death of Cynthia Jarrett (Grime artist Scorcher’s grandmother), during a police raid on her home, sparked the riot on Broadwater Farm estate. In 1987, he was elected by the Tottenham constituency to become one of the first 3 Black MP’s in the House of Commons.
Bernie Grant, MP in Tottenham from 1987
Understanding of, and Solidarity against Racism
This year, 2020, the reality of racism has again been very apparent. The murder of George Floyd by police in USA led to worldwide protests and the rise of #BlackLivesMatter movement. There were renewed commitments among many individuals and organisations to educate themselves about Black history and to confront the legacies of Britain’s colonial past, as part of understanding racism and standing in solidarity against it, in all its forms.
BlackLivesMatter protests in Lordship Rec Tottenham’s largest public green space, Lordship Rec, became the location of weekly protests – ‘taking the knee’ – attended by 100’s of local residents.
Local residents Taking a Knee in Lordship Rec at the regular BLM rally
Activists inspire the rally with their passionate speeches
North London Creatives Resistance
North London Creatives Resistance, a group of creatives local to Tottenham grew out of these Black Lives Matter protests and gatherings held in Lordship rec throughout this summer. NLCR aims to celebrate black history, experience and community in North London through organising innovative and engaging creative community projects.
ZETHU MASEKO, TOTTENHAM ARTIST
Rising star, Zethu Maseko, a young, female, Tottenham-raised artist is a founding member of NLCR and a recent graduate from Fine Art at Goldsmiths University London. Zethu’s work centres conversations around identity, racial and gender politics, de-colonialism and the African diasporic experience. She currently works in the form of tapestry, using quilt, tufting, embroidery and weaving techniques.
Hand made banners and placards made for the BLM rally
Since 2017, Zethu has received many awards for her art practice – the Peter Stanley Prize 2017, Santander Student Impact Award 2018, Young Achiever Future Leader Award 2019, The Nicholas and Andrei Tooth Prize 2020 and has been selected for The New Contemporaries 2020. Below are some of Zethu’s artworks.
Afro Safety Net
Warmed to You
Art Installation in Lordship Hub Cafe
Lordship Hub is proud to be hosting a site specific piece of art work created by Zethu Maseko that offers links between Black History month and the 2020 activities of the Black Lives Matter movement that took place in Lordship Rec. Zethu initially intended to create a piece through engaging others in a workshop process but Covid-19 restrictions interrupted these plans and the result is a more personal response to Black History month 2020.
Interview with Zethu Maseko by Issy Harvey
How did this piece develop? …Creating this piece is my contribution to the conversations that have been taking place about black identity, black history, racism. I feel there is generally a lack of celebration of the achievements and contributions of Black people to our history here..
I was thinking about that.. getting people involved and making something that celebrates the multiculturalism of Tottenham….how all of us are here together and we each have our own identity’s here which are all informed by our heritage’s, where we came from, and together these form this bubble, this mixing pot of all our different cultures. I wanted to engage with that but when COVID-19 restrictions made it much more difficult to involve other women in workshops as I’d planned… the work became more personal as I thought more about my own heritage (South Africa) and how that is situated here in Tottenham….
The piece commemorates a young woman my age, named Saartjie Bartman, who was taken from the Eastern Cape to London in 1810, to be exhibited for her bodily features. She was exhibited across Europe from the age of 20 until her death aged 25 and then she was dissected and her body parts continued to exhibited in France until 1974. That is 159 years after she actually died. Her story represents how enslaving African people was excused by presenting them as subhuman specimens to be exhibited … so when I was thinking about what I wanted to commemorate with this quilt I’ve found I kept thinking of my own heritage in the cape region, how the objectification of black women’s bodies still continues today and how this is rooted in the colonial and patriarchal gaze.
Why have you chosen the quilt form for this piece? There’s been a history within feminist art practise of reclaiming the quilt as an art form. It’s a feminine medium. A feminine technique. There’s a strong history of Black women in the southern States of America protesting through quilting.
Zethu at work
How does this connect for you with the BLM movement that was expressed in Lordship Rec this summer? There’s so many similarities between police brutality in USA and here. Our community here in Tottenham is over policed. We live in a racist society. There were so many other conversations – such as how we address police violence or decolonialise our streets – that I have not referenced here. The exhibition does also include a reparations banner, to highlight one of these more recent conversations that’s been going on locally. This banner was made through workshops held in Lordship Rec during the Black Lives Matter meetings and taken to a protest in Brixton. It says ‘you’re lucky we only want reparations and not revenge’ and I think once you know the story of Saartjie Bartman, it raises the question of how something like that could ever be reconciled.
What is your aim as an artist and founder of North London Creative Resistance group? I feel like art is a means to have a conversation or to continue a conversation and to make the conversation more accessible, to more people …the practise of engaging in a workshop is usually an empowering one ..so for me it is a way of mobilising people, empowering people and giving people a space to express their experiences …
Growing up and living in a community that has been under-resourced, underfunded, under-supported… I’d say looked down upon and dehumanised by the rest of London. .. makes me want to bring more visibility to Tottenham. I love my area, I love my community and I know there’s many incredible, amazing people here who just need to be given the space. I want to give back to it and I want to empower it.
PRIVATE VIEW: FRIDAY 30th OCTOBER from 4.30-7.30pm
Lordship Hub Cafe
Now open every day from 11-4pm except Thursdays. Pay us a visit and view the exhibition. Toilet facilities are now available to cafe customers.
COVID-19 restrictions: controlled entry to keep everyone safely spaced. Everyone will be expected to give their track and trace details, use hand sanitiser and wear masks on entry. Respect minimum social distancing throughout and please follow Hub rules.
News, info, thoughts and links from Lordship Hub, Lordship Rec and Central Tottenham
28th June 2020
Lordship Hub Cafe
Now open from 11-4pm as a takeawayonly (closed thursdays till further notice). Pay us a visit when you are in the Rec. Sadly, we are not able to open the toilets to the public yet, but it is a start!
Please complete our Lordship Hub Survey
Lordship Hub depends and thrives on the voluntary support and expertise of local people and park users. If you would like to volunteer in some capacity please fill in this short survey. www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/98R3H33
BLOG GOING MONTHLY: We have been running this blog weekly while the Hub has been closed but after this one we will be doing it less often, perhaps every 4 weeks. We hope you have enjoyed it and thanks for reading it!
EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
There have always been events in Lordship Rec from the late 1930’s onwards. Due to the Covid pandemic most of this year’s events have been cancelled but we can all hopefully look forward to them coming back bigger and better next year. In this week’s blog we will look at just a few of the many fantastic events that have taken place in our area organised by local people, whether it be sports, celebrations of nature or arts.
Above, top row, the Shell Theatre was used in the 1940s for outdoor tea dances and concerts as well as children’s fancy dress competitions. (Photographs courtesy of Bruce Castle Museum). Bottom row, the Harringay Fair in the late 1960s. (Photographs courtesy of Chris Hall).
MORE RECENT EVENTS
Over the past 20 years the Friends of Lordship Rec and Downhills Park and other community groups have been busy organising events for the local community. These events have helped to shape a feeling of vibrance and togetherness in our area, bringing local people together to enjoy sport, art, music, food growing and celebrations of nature and wellbeing.
Downhills Centenary Festival Before I got involved in the Friends movement I had never organised a community event before. The first time I got involved was in helping to organise the 2003 Centenary of Downhills Park. The Friends of Downhills together with TCV (then BTCV) put together a huge event including music and entertainments spanning the park’s 100 year life.
There was palm court classical quartet in the tea tent, a swing band on the main stage, fire eating and monocycling and of course Punch and Judy (without the domestic violence!). We created a train for the children to paint, to reflect the railway that used to run along the side of the park until the 1960s. We also put together a pictorial history of the park. It turned out to be a great success.
Art in the Park Another first in Downhills Park was the now famous, Art in the Park event which is still going strong today and warmly anticipated every year in July. This is the first time it has had to be cancelled, but I am sure it will be back. When we started Art in the Park, we did not expect many people would turn up and only catered for a few participants. As the event started, more and more people turned up and we had to run back and forth to the shops for more materials and it was really popular. The idea was to create a tranquil event for all ages, where we handed out free materials for people to paint inspired by the beautiful surroundings of the park. We also had other workshops with plasticine and other materials and the book and toy bus for toddlers. At the time of the first Art in the Park events, there was no café but there was a bowling club pavilion and we used that to provide refreshments and to show the finished paintings at the end of the day.
Lordship Rec Launch Festival 2012 was the year that the long worked for restoration of Lordship Rec was achieved. To celebrate, the Friends of Lordship Rec and other local organisations from Broadwater Farm, Back2Earth and Haringey Council organised a large community Festival all across the Rec with stalls and activities.
Around 8000 people turned up to celebrate the restoration of Lordship Rec carried out with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Music in the Rec
Having the outdoor Shell Theatre in the Rec is a great advantage. Over the years, the Shell Performing Arts Collective, the Friends, the Hub and the Lordship Sports and Activities Consortium have organised many music events in the Shell, in the main field and in and around the Hub. There was the One World Folk Festival in 2015 and 2016 and there have been 2 jazz festivals in 2016 and 2018 with big bands and swing bands on the Shell stage and jam sessions in the Hub. We are hoping that other groups will find a way of using this unique space in the future. If you have an idea for a music event in the Rec and wish to use the Shell Theatre, please contact: email@example.com.
A mix of musicians playing and dancing at the One World Folk Festival outside in the Shell Theatre Hub representing some of the many cultures of the area. Bottom left a swing band playing at the Lordship Rec Jazz Fest and bottom right Blockorama, steel pan extravaganza, held in the main field.
A Festival of Walking Walking is something we actively encourage. In October 2016 the Haringey Friends of Parks Forum organised a Walking Weekend during which, around 20 different walks took place all across the borough from Tottenham High Road to Muswell Hill and Finsbury Park. To follow this up there was a Walking Fair held at the Hub to encourage walking and to talk about the pleasures of walking and how we can make it safer for pedestrians in our busy towns.
Four of the Walks on the Haringey Walking Weekend from top left clockwise: St Ann’s hospital site, Tower Gardens Estate, Alexandra Palace and the New River.
Morag from Manchester talked about Psychogeography, which is an exploration of the urban environment that emphasises playfulness and “drifting” rather than just going from a to b, experiencing the environment and how it makes you feel and how you interact with it. There was also a presentation of Julia Bradury’s Outdoor Guide website and a stall with the outdoor guide books and a talk about the 20 mph campaign, 20’s Plenty for Us, to make walking safer and of course a talk about the Moselle Walk (see: haringeyfriendsofparks.org.uk/moselle_walk.php).
Wassail and Wild in the Rec
The Friends do a lot of conservation work in the Rec, but also like to organise events that celebrate the nature that surrounds us. Over a year there are 3 regular events, Go Wild in the Rec, a celebration of all things green and natural in August, Wassail, a celebration of the fruit trees in the Lordship Rec Orchard in March, and Apple Day, a celebration of this versatile and delicious fruit in October.
Wassail celebration in the Lordship Rec Orchard and bottom right, a natural printing workshop using natural material from the Rec at Go Wild in the Rec.
Tottenham Ploughman and the Hub got together to organise River Fest to celebrate our rivers and campaign to keep our waterways healthy and clean. They chose Lordship Rec because this is where the Moselle River was brought back to the surface during the restoration of the Rec in 2012. The festivals also included a number of stalls showcasing locally produced food and drink like Wildes Cheese and Redemption Brewing Company. RiverFest has 7 pledges we can make to keep our rivers healthy. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Riverfest main music stage with people dancing and enjoying the day and bottom left Wildes Cheese stall.
Youth Fest Youth Fest is held every summer for all young people from 0-25yrs. It is organised by the Lordship Sports and Activities Consortium (LSAC), an informal group of sports, dance and arts practitioners in partnership with Haringey Council’s Active Communities. They also organise women and girls activities in Broadwater Farm Community Centre and the Rec.
A great day is always had by all at Youth Fest. From top clockwise: 2 touch football, crafts workshop, Zorbing and street dance workshop. There are also local youth performances on the shell theatre stage plus youth advice sessions.
Theatre and performance in the Rec We have been very fortunate to be the venue for some great theatre. A fantastic Community Play, Up on the High Road, by Tottenham theatre, was performed to a large audience in the Hub. It told the stories, in their own words, of residents of Tottenham all placed in the context of developments that are taking place in Tottenham. We were also treated to a performance by local young people of a play about Walter Tull, a black footballer who played for Tottenham Hotspur and who was also one of the few black officers in the army and who was sadly killed at the end of the first world war in 1918. As a fundraiser for the Hub, local residents devised and performed Murder Mystery Christmas plays at the Hub. We have also had a poetry performance event run by Friendly Local Poets, a group of local residents.
Tottenham Theatre performing Up on the High Road at the Hub.
Windrush Commemoration Cabaret In 2018 a special Windrush Commemoration Cabaret was held at the Hub. There was tasty Caribbean food on offer and four talented black artists entertained the diners. The artists included Abe Gibson spoken word poet, Sheba Montserrat, stand-up comedian, David Williams, blues guitarist and singer, and Nefertiti Marriott, poet and writer. The compere for the evening was the fantastic DJ Sapphire.
Halloween and Fireworks celebration Every year we hold a Halloween event for children where they make masks and lanterns at the Hub and then venture out for a ‘spooky’ walk in the dark around the rec where they stop for a while for a scary story, told by Mr Squash. Lots of fun had by all.
We always open the café at the Hub on one night of the Ally Pally FireworksShow as there is a great ‘free’ viewing place at the top of the hill at Higham Road in the Rec where lots of local people traditionally meet. The Café serves hot chocolate and other hot drinks and hot dogs and chilli. Yum!
Story telling in the dark with Mr Squash!
Tottenham Flower and Produce Show For many years now we enjoy our annual Tottenham Flower and Produce Show. This is a fun and informative event that brings local people together to showcase their skills. We have several categories for entries to the show including: Home grown vegetables and fruit, home made drinks, cakes and bread, jams and pickles, crafts and needlework, flower arrangement and several categories for children. It is always great fun and people love receiving their medals and cups at the end and seeing if they have won a first place certificate for their entries. There are also lots of plant, food and craft stalls and workshops on gardening and wellbeing related subjects. Children can join in workshops making miniature gardens or gardens in a bottle and planters and also enter the special scarecrow competition.
Images of the Flower and Produce Show and bottom left we were thrilled one year to have Bob Flowerdew from Gardeners’ Question Time coming to talk to us in the Hub.
International Women’s Day and Women’s events
There is an active women’s group in Lordship Rec called the Women’s Association of Lordship Rec (WALR). Every year WALR organise a variety of events from celebration of International Women’s Day to health and wellbeing days to discos, dances and film nights. Obviously there have not been any events in the last few months but If you want to get involved contact email@example.com.
Family Walk Against Racism – Black Lives Matter event On June 13th this year around 2000 local people took part in a children and parents’ Walk Against Racism in support of Black Lives Matter organised by local parents. They started in the Rec at Lordship Hub and walked to Downhills Park. There were lots of hand drawn placards and chants along the way and some powerful speeches. See the following BBC1 news clip: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOd272uzosY
HERE’S TO MANY MORE FANTASTIC EVENTS! When we are all able to come back together we can start to organise more great events in Lordship Rec and the Hub and you are all welcome!
Lordship Hub Co-op is urgently seeking a new Treasurer as the previous person has a new, very demanding job and can no longer continue. Please see our job description and decide if you or anyone you know may be interested. Many thanks
Treasurer, Lordship Hub Co-operative
Who we are
Lordship Hub, in Tottenham, is a community Centre with a café and rooms for hire for classes, parties and events. We run on co-operative principles with 9 part time staff and around 40 regular volunteers which includes the Hub Board.
We have been closed during Covid emergency and have only just reopened as a purely takeaway establishment and our more lucrative hiring business has had to be put on hold until people can, and want to, meet in any larger groups. We have just completed a very successful crowdfunding campaign which raised over £31000, mostly from loyal customers and users, which has been a very heartwarming experience for all of us at the Hub.
This is a really exciting time to join our board. We want to honour the love and respect that we have been shown by our community during the crowdfunding campaign and use it to help create a stronger and more purposeful business model.
To be a central part of the governing team, understanding and keeping the board informed and instructed in all financial matters regarding the Hub. It is a voluntary situation but will need commitment and where possible, attendance at board meetings which happen once a month, usually on a Sunday morning 10.30-12.30.
Our treasurer needs to
· be familiar with Quickbooks
· maintain an overview of the organisation’s affairs and ensure its financial viability
· Ensure that proper and legal financial records and procedures are maintained .
· provide the board with financial statements, forecasts and cashflow information on a regular basis for discussion at monthly board meetings.
· work closely with the Hub’s finance officer/bookeeper and our Accountant, to ensure the maintenance of proper financial records which will support the board in strategic decision making.
· monitor and maintain the finance policy of the organisation.
· help to develop realistic budgets to help the organisation run at a profit.
· Support and monitor grant funding in collaboration with our fundraiser and bookeeper
· an understanding and knowledge of Co-operative principles is preferable but training will be given.
If you are interested in being a part of our vital community facility and want to get more information about Lordship Hub and the Co-op and what the post will entail, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org . Someone will contact you to arrange a proper chat. Thanks
News, info, thoughts and links from Lordship Hub, Lordship Rec and Central Tottenham
20th June 2020
Lordship Hub Cafe
Now open every day from 11-4pm as a takeawayonly. Pay us a visit when you are in the Rec. Sadly, we are not able to open the toilets to the public yet, but it is a start!
CLOUDS IN THE BIG SKY
One of the many fantastic things about Lordship Rec is the “big sky”. It is a great place to see the sky and the amazing patterns and colours of clouds, sunsets, rainbows and the mists of winter and autumn.
Have you ever looked up at the changing spectacle and wondered what it could tell you about the weather?
TOTTENHAM’S ONLY BLUE PLAQUE
Luke Howard (1772 – 1864) is known as the Namer of Clouds and the Father of meteorology for his detailed observations over many years of the weather and cloud formations in Tottenham. At a house that he lived in, at 7 Bruce Grove, he is commemorated with the only English Heritage Blue Plaque in Tottenham.
From an early age, his observing eye began to notice the appearances of the sky and forms of clouds. He was fascinated by the violent volcanic eruptions at Laki in Iceland which resulted in sunsets blazing through clouds, and overcast skies which led to the unusually cold winters in Britain from 1783-1785. He would have been aware of the summer hailstorm in 1788 which destroyed crops and resulted in serious food shortages and a rise in the price of bread the following Spring.
Luke Howard published a short essay called, “On the Modification of Clouds” in 1803, in which he proposed his classification and nomenclature of the clouds, a system that is still in use today.
From their home on Tottenham Green Luke Howard and his wife, Mariabella made daily recordings of the weather. Using the data obtained from the instruments in the garden in 1818 – 1820 he published “The Climate of London” in two volumes updating it with a revised edition in 1833. His daily barometric pressure readings are among the earliest consistent scientific observations recorded.
for more information see: www.tottenhamclouds.org.uk/
The diagram below names the variety of clouds in different heights in the sky.
A cloud is a visible mass of minute droplets of water, ice crystals, or both, suspended in the air. Though they vary in shape and size, all clouds are basically formed in the same way through the warm air and water vapour rising from the earth and sea which cools and turns into tiny droplets of water or ice that form on tiny particles in the atmosphere like dust. The higher the temperature or air pressure the more water vapour the air can hold. If the temperature or the air pressure falls then the vapour turns to liquid or ice and clouds form. If the water droplets in the clouds mass together and get too heavy then they fall as rain. The large droplets of water make the clouds look grey as they block out the sun.
HIGH LEVEL CLOUDS Cirrus is one of the most common types of clouds that can be seen at any time of the year. They are thin and wispy and always made of ice crystals. Besides the filament appearance, cirrus clouds are often coloured in bright yellow or red before sunrise and after sunset. Cirrus clouds light up long before other clouds and fade out much later.
Cirrocumulus usually form at about 5 km above the surface with small white fluff patterns that spread out for miles across the sky. They’re sometimes called ‘mackerel skies’ because they can sometimes have a grayish color and look a bit like fish scales. Cirrocumulus can look similar altocumulus clouds but does not have shading like altocumulus where some parts can be darker than others. Cirrocumulus never generates rainfall though can mean cold weather and they don’t mix up with other kind of clouds.
Cirrostratus have a sheet-like appearance across the sky. They’re quite translucent and vary in colour from light grey to white and the bands can vary widely in thickness. Cirrostratus clouds can turn into altostratus clouds if they descend to a lower altitude. They almost always move in a westerly direction and the sight of them usually means rainfall is imminent in the next 24 hours.
MID LEVEL CLOUDS Altocumulus clouds form at a lower altitude so they’re largely made of water droplets though they may retain ice crystals when forming higher up. They usually appear between lower stratus clouds and higher cirrus clouds, and normally precede altostratus if a warm frontal system is advancing. When altocumulus appears with another cloud type at the same time, a storm could follow. The amount of rainfall from altocumulus is projected from light to moderate.
Altostratus can spread over thousands of square miles and are linked to light rain or snow. While they don’t produce heavy rain they can morph into nimbostratus clouds which are packed with moisture and can deliver a heavy downpour. They are uniformly grey and featureless.
Nimbostratus clouds are the heavy rain bearers, forming thick and dark layers of clouds that can completely block out the sun. Though they belong to the middle-level category, they may sometimes descend to lower altitudes.
LOW LEVEL CLOUDS Stratus clouds are composed of thin layers of clouds covering a large area of the sky. You can easily distinguish a stratus cloud by the long horizontal layers of cloud which have a fog-like appearance. These can produce light showers or even light snow if the temperatures fall below freezing. However, if enough moisture is retained at the ground level, the cloud can transform into a nimbostratus. Stratus clouds are most common in coastal and mountainous regions.
Cumulus is the most recognisable of all the types of clouds. These fluffy cotton wool clouds form a large mass with a well-defined rounded edge. Cumulus clouds are a sign of fair weather, though they may mean a light shower sometimes.
Cumulonimbus is fluffy and white like cumulus but much larger. It’s a vertical developing type of cloud whose base grows from eight kilometers, hence it’s commonly called a tower cloud. For the same reason, cumulonimbus is both a low-level and high-level type of cloud. At the low-altitude base, the cloud is mostly made of water droplets but the high-altitude summit is dominated by ice crystals. It produces intermittent rain but when it does, it can be heavy. When you see a cumulonimbus, you know there’s a thunderstorm waiting to happen somewhere.
Stratocumulus clouds look like a thick white blanket resembling cumulus clouds but much bigger. The base is well defined and flat but the upper part of the cloud is ragged. Depending on the thickness of the cloud, a stratocumulus will have light to dark grey hues and look ominous but rarely produce rain.
Clouds may also form in contact with the ground surface, too. Such a cloud is known as fog, ice fog, or mist.
THE CLOUD APPRECIATION SOCIETY
If you are fascinated by clouds there is a society devoted to them, the Cloud Appreciation Society. They have a manifesto and here is some of what they stand for:
We think that they are Nature’s poetry, and the most egalitarian of her displays, since everyone can have a fantastic view of them.
We seek to remind people that clouds are expressions of the atmosphere’s moods, and can be read like those of a person’s countenance.
We believe that clouds are for dreamers and their contemplation benefits the soul. Indeed, all who consider the shapes they see in them will save money on psychoanalysis bills.
And so we say to all who’ll listen: Look up, marvel at the ephemeral beauty, and always remember to live life with your head in the clouds!
One of the many stunning sunsets looking west from the Hub in Lordship Rec taken by Wendy Charlton
Why do clouds turn red during sunset If you look at light through a prism you will see lots of colours. Each colour is a light wave with a different wavelength. Within the small range of wavelengths (or colours) that we are able to see, the shorter waves are blue and the longer ones are red. Colours such as green, yellow, and orange lie between the blue and red ends of the visible spectrum.
All these light waves of different wavelengths travel through empty space from the Sun. When they reach Earth’s atmosphere, the light waves interact with particles in the air like dust, water droplets and ice crystals and also interact with the tiny gas molecules that make up the air. The light waves bounce off these particles and scatter in lots of different directions. How light waves get scattered depends on the size of the particle compared with the wavelength of the light. Particles that are small compared with the light wavelength scatter blue light so the tiny gas molecules that make up our Earth’s atmosphere scatter the blue portion of sunlight in all directions, creating an effect that we see as a blue sky.
Red light waves are scattered more slowly by atmospheric gas molecules. At sunset when the sun is lower in the sky, the sunlight travels a longer diagonal path through the atmosphere to reach our eyes, the blue light has been mostly removed, leaving mostly red and yellow light. The result is that the sunlight takes on an orange or red cast, which we can see reflected from clouds or other objects as a red sky. Small particles of dust and pollution in the air can enhance these colours, but the primary cause of a blue sky or orange/red sunsets or sunrises is the scattering by the gas molecules in our atmosphere.
Cloud droplets are much larger than visible light waves, so they scatter light without much colour variation. This is why light scattered by clouds takes on the same colour as the incoming light. For example, clouds will appear white or grey at midday and orange or red at sunrise or sunset and are a canvas on which light’s colours are painted. This is why sunsets or sunrises are so much prettier in cloudy skies.
RAINBOWS When it rains, and if the sun is at the right angle in the sky, you can often see a rainbow from Lordship Hub arching over Broadwater Farm Estate.
Rainbow over Broadwater Farm Esrate from the Roundway taken by Wendy Charlton
A rainbow is an arc of colour produced when the Sun shines through falling rain. For a rainbow to be seen, the Sun must be above the horizon and not be obscured by clouds, mountains, or other obstacles but has to be quite low in the sky. The air opposite the Sun, as seen from your position, must be filled with a large number of water droplets. Rainbows always appear in the sky opposite to the Sun. So, if you have your back to the Sun, the rainbow will arch across the sky in front of you.
How do Rainbows form? Sunlight may appear white to us, but in fact it consists of all visible colours. As soon as a ray of sunlight enters a raindrop, it is split up into its components, causing its colours to fan out and become visible as a spectrum of colours.
Reflection: Water droplets act like little mirrors. When a ray of sunlight strikes one of these water spheres, most of the light bounces off its rear wall and is reflected back. During a rain shower, the air is full of water droplets acting together as a reflective surface made of millions of tiny mirrors casting the sunlight back at you.
Dispersion: Pure sunlight may appear white to us, but it consists of all visible colours. As soon as a ray of sunlight enters a droplet of rain, it is split up into its components, causing its colours to fan out and become visible as a spectrum of colours. This happens both when the ray enters the raindrop and when it leaves it again.
Refraction: As the ray of sunlight enters and leaves the raindrops, it is refracted (changes direction slightly). Each raindrop reflects all of the colours of the sunlight back but it reflects and refracts each colour at a slightly different angle. You only see the red light from droplets that are higher in the sky, and only the orange light from the droplets that are a little lower which is how the top two stripes of the rainbow are formed and the remaining coloured stripes of the rainbow are created in a similar way according to their angle of refraction.
Why Is a Rainbow Curved?
Technically, a rainbow is the upper half of a circle of light, which centres on a point directly opposite the Sun, as seen from your perspective. The lower half of the circle, however, is usually not visible since the water droplets hit the ground before it can form. It is however possible to see a circular rainbow from high up in an aeroplane.
GREAT “CLOUD” PAINTERS LINKED TO TOTTENHAM
John Mallord William TURNER depicted cloudscapes in all seasons and developed ways to paint luminous clouds and skies. One of the great patrons of Turner was BG Windus (1790-1867) who opened his collection of art to viewing by the public one day a week at his villa opposite Luke Howard’s house on Tottenham Green. During the lifetime of JMW Turner, the Windus collection was recognised as the best place in London to see his work.
John CONSTABLE who painted landscapes with fantastic cloudy skies informed by Luke Howard, spent over two weeks in 1806 at Markfield House, Tottenham. He made many Cloud studies.
THE CLOUD GARDEN
The land behind numbers 7 to 9 Bruce Grove, N17 has for a long time been designated as ‘Significant Local Open Land’. It does not have planning permission for development. The area to the south of Bruce Grove is an Area of Deficiency of access to nature, according to Haringey’s own planning documents. Providing a site rich in nature would help address that deficiency. www.tottenhamclouds.org.uk/cloud-garden.html
There are lots of mature trees on the site and it is home to many birds, flowers and pollinators. There is lots of scrub. Birds noted by members of Tottenham and Wood Green Friends of the Earth and Bruce Grove Residents Network include the Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackcaps, Robins, Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Blue and Great Tits. A vision for the site could include planting more native tree and shrub species, perhaps some fruit trees, removing the Knotweed, creating a wildflower area, installing nest boxes and even a wildlife pond.
The previous owner of the house at No 7 did nothing with the property and apparently, due to non repayment of a loan. the bank repossessed it and put the land up for auction. The council were asked to intervene and make a bid themselves and much to everyone’s delight they were prepared to do this. However, a developer bought the land off-auction, the day before it would have taken place and for a much higher price. People have not been able to find out who the new owner is and are anxious that there could be plans to carry out an intense development on the site to recoup their outlay. There is a continuing to petition asking that the Council do a Compulsory Purchase, see the link below: actionnetwork.org/petitions/save-the-cloud-garden-green-open-space-for-bruce-grove
And now, something to raise your spirits, after a long period of hard times, one of the best feel good, weather related songs of all time!
News, info, thoughts and links from Lordship Hub, Lordship Rec and Central Tottenham
13th June 2020
LORDSHIP HUB CAFE REOPENING
Lordship Hub Cafe is planning to reopen as a takeaway on 19th June and will open every day from 11-4pm initially. It will be a limited service with a small staff, and we will be following strict social distancing rules. We will do our best so bear with us, please. Unfortunately we are not able to open the public toilets at this time for health and safety reasons. Hope to see you all soon.
ART AND CREATIVITY
Art is a form of expression, a way of helping people to see, understand and feel things that can’t easily be done verbally. It satisfies a diverse range of needs for humankind and is also used in various political and social issues to organise campaigns and create awareness. Art is a special form of communication between people addressing common issues and experience and as such is uniquely positioned to move and inspire people and provoke debate and sometimes outrage.
Making art is a special kind of activity which uses all aspects of human ability; imagination, physicality and intelligence. It is not only therapeutic for the artist but it can unlock the potential of those who experience it.
Everyone has emotions and personal experiences of life and sincere and honest art can allow its audience to empathise and see their own experiences mirrored in the work in a way that allows them to think about things differently. The arts can bring communities together, making their community spaces that people can enjoy create community pride. At the same time it can work in solidarity with people’s feelings and beliefs and enourage support for important local issues.
WENDY CHARLTON – LOCAL TOTTENHAM COMMUNITY ARTIST
Wendy says of herself and her work: “I have spent 30 years as an arts practitioner in community arts provision managing projects, facilitating workshops and teaching delivery. I also have a visual and social arts practice which values local histories and lived experience of people through storytelling. Projects involve a multi-disciplinary documentary approach through collaboration. Dialogue is central to my working process, realised through attendance at community meetings, volunteering and/or informal communication with individuals. This allows me to identify where artistic activity can be beneficial and develop appropriate creative strategies. Current work is embedded in themes of housing, community activism and critiques of arts-led regeneration.”
Wendy has done several local projects but here we concentrate on one that she did in 2015, at a time when redevelopment was propoaed by the Council of part of Lordship Rec and adjoining Estates. This work, SA63-Home was a temporary installation involving altered estate agent signs placed around an area of land proposed for redevelopment next to Broadwater Farm estate. You can also view an accompanying film by clicking on this link: www.wendycharlton.net/sa63—home.html
SOME OF MY FAVOURITE PAINTINGS
I am Joan, a volunteer at the Hub, and I am a painter. I love these Paintings. When I was very young I remember seeing small prints of Van Gogh’s paintings on the walls at home and I was transfixed and never looked back. When I look at the painting of the Olive trees I can feel the heat of the burning sun and the russet sun-baked earth reflecting back the heat. The old olive trees are almost dancing and throwing their shadows on the land. I feel transported to the wonderful landscape of the south of France and feel warm and happy. On the other hand the empty chair is almost like a portrait of the artist although he is not there. Its emptiness is almost heavy and gives the inanimate objective a sense of life and personality. There is something about an empty chair that beckons and makes you wonder who has sat there or what it would be like to be sitting there. It can at once be a comforting image or a sad and lonely one, where is Vincent?
DREPH – STREET ART
In his artist statement Dreph (Neequaye Dreph Dsane) says: “I am a visual artist predominantly creating large scale street paintings, oil portraits and printmaking. I am interested in how contemporary portraiture, can be used to present alternative narratives. My subjects are for the most part everyday people, unsung heroes and heroines whose triumphs I seek to highlight, represent and pay tribute to. The challenge for me is to reflect these stories; with an honesty and depth of emotion that reflects the humanity of those I paint.”
‘You Are Enough‘ is a series of portraits painted across London paying tribute to friends who are doing amazing things for their communities and society at large and we are lucky enough to have this one in Tottenham. For more of his work see: dreph.co.uk/
TOTTENHAM ART CLASSES
Tottenham Art Classes run art classes and courses in the local area of Tottenham. Before the Coronavirus pandemic they ran weekly drop-in Life Drawing sessions at the Beehive Pub, just off Tottenham High Road. These classes provided an opportunity to bring together a community of like-minded individuals to engage in something creative closer to home. All levels of ability are welcome.
They also run structured one-day weekend courses, some of which have been held at the Hub, which have included Life Drawing, Life Painting, Watercolour, Still Life Painting, Portrait Painting, Illustration, Mono Printing and Lino Printing. Check out the classes and courses page on the website for more information. www.tottenhamartclasses.co.uk/
Online *non-live* life drawing – Next class on Thursday 25th 7-9pm(15min break included). Class is £6 paid in advance. For information and booking contact email@example.com.
In this time of social distancing we want to try and keep creativity alive and support life models. Therefore we will be holding *non-live* online life drawing classes every Thursday evening from 7pm (note: next class 25th June). This will mean drawing from posed photographs provided by the model.
How Will It Work? The sessions will take place via a Zoom meeting.
Once a meeting starts the session will work similarly to our normal class where you will be given a specific amount of time to interpret the pose before we change to the next photo. Please Note: Classes are £6 booked in advance to ensure a guaranteed income for the model. To attend the upcoming Zoom session please pay via the button on their website Advance booking essential. Booking will close at 5pm on the day of the class
MORE IMAGES THAT MEAN SOMETHING TO ME
Faith Ringgold is a black American artist who was born in 1930 in the Haarlem district of New York and she has had a long career as an artist and civil rights activist. This picture done in 1997 and is named “We Came to America”. It is a very topical image given the protests in America and across the world today and the debate about the horrors of slavery that are going on here. The work is a mixture of quilting and painting. The image is really strong, meaningful and sad but the overall feeling of the work is of exuberance and some kind of optimism.
The portrait on the right is by Mexican artist and political activist, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). She suffered serious injuries in a bus crash which left her severely disabled and it was during her period of recovery that she began to paint. Her self portraits are honest and strong and have a fantastic sense of place, a strong sense of Mexican identity, painted in a folk art style but, at the same time, being expressive of her pain and disability.
Both artworks are decorative but both are strong and expressive of difficult and heart felt subjects.
EXHIBITIONS IN THE HUB CAFÉ
For many years we have been holding monthly exhibitions of local artists’ work in the Café area. We offer the space for free to the artists and only ask for a donation if they sell any work. We have had a variety of work on show from watercolours, oil paintings and photographs to mixed media. We are always looking for new artists who would like a chance to exhibit their work, especially if they have never exhibited before. We held our first Art Fair in November 2019 and hopefully will do something similar again when we can.
Paintings from some of the many exhibitions over the years, top row left to right: Lucy Edkins, Carla Harding, Myriam Rodderick, bottom row left to right: Patricia (Bap Art), Inga Bystram, David Newton, Fiona Remm.
If you would like to exhibit once we are able to reopen our building then you should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or let someone know in the office and they will pass on your details.
TOTTENHAM PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB
Tottenham Photography Club is a friendly but serious photography group based in Lordship Hub (when it is open) where you can discuss photography, share pictures, ideas and hints and tips about taking pictures or camera accessories. There are monthly meetings, which in usual times are held at Lordship Hub on the second Wednesday of the month at 7pm. As well as the meetings there are regular shoot-outs where trips are organised locally or further afield. The group sets a monthly theme for club members and the results of this and the shoot outs are put in albums on the facebook page. The group has also had talks and technical workshops. Club members try to attend and photograph local Tottenham events and chronicle changes in the neighbourhood. All are welcome and membership is free. See: www.facebook.com/groups/TottPhotoClub/
A selection from the Tottenham Photography Club albums by, top left to right: Mustafa Suleman, Julia Parnaby, bottom left to right: Gary Oland, Ann Robertson, Dianne Dalli.
EXPRESS YOURSELF THROUGH DANCE
If you want to learn to dance and get fit see this local organisation, DEFINE ME whose aim is to create a community of people who love the benefits of Dance and Fitness. Whether you are a trained professional or budding beginner, they aim to make an accessible, enjoyable class! Shenika teaches here and also runs a Soca Dance Workout at the Hub in normal times. DEFINE ME are now doing online Zoom classes. For information see: defineme.net/ or phone: 07803281196
Recently there was and exhibition called Windrush Legends and Legacies. Opening on Windrush Day in 2019, this exhibition showed stories from the Bruce Castle collections and the local community, celebrating the presence, the significant contribution and the lasting impact by Haringey’s Windrush Generation with photographs and memories. We Made It!Haringey’s BAME creators and innovators saluted past and present-day BAME creativity and innovation – all from Haringey. Exploring the collections from Bruce Castle Museum and Haringey Archive, this exhibition celebrated the more recent artistic excellence of Haringey artists and designers. For the first time the award-winning ‘Sewn Together’ African and Caribbean commemorative quilts made by Sonja Camara and the Haringey community were displayed. The collection of artists included Gary March who made the Downhills Shelter Memorial Sculpture by Lordship Rec Woodland and Bernette Hall who was responsible for the waterfall Mural on Broadwater Farm.
The current exhibition is Sisters, Sirens and Saints: Imagining the Women of Beatrice Offor
A Centenary Exhibition of Portraits by Beatrice Offor (1864-1920). It commemorates the centenary of artist Beatrice Offor (1864-1920) who lived in Tottenham. The exhibition explores her beautiful portraits and the imaginings and portrayals of the women she painted. Bringing together her artworks from the collections at Bruce Castle Museum alongside recently discovered paintings, this exhibition draws on new research, the influences in her life and the recent invigorated interest in her art. Beatrice Offor is celebrated as being amongst the first women students who trained at The Slade, going on to become one of the few commercially-successful Edwardian female artists. An unusual forward-thinking artist for her time. This was to continue till September 2020 so there may be the chance to see it if lockdown measures are lifted.
There are also some excellent talks, workshops and art classes at the museum.
BERNIE GRANT ART CENTRE
The Bernie Grant Art Centre opened in 2007 and offers classes, artistic support and public performances. It is closed at present, but in normal times it offers so much of interest for the Tottenham Community, being a showcase for innovative and relevant performances and events. www.berniegrantcentre.co.uk/explore/
Euroart Studios are a North London artist-led art studio group in Markfield Road, N15 4QQ, providing affordable studios and workspaces for rent to artists, makers and creative practitioners. It is committed to bringing contemporary art practice to the local community. They deliver activities enabling people to participate in artistic and creative experiences and have delivered creative workshops in the studios and across the borough. www.euroart.co.uk/
AFTER THE LOCKDOWN
When the lockdown is over and the Hub reopens completely, it would be great to exhibit the vast array of creativity that has been going on in the homes of Hub users during their long days indoors. If you have developed a new skill or rekindled your creative spirit, join us in putting a grand spectacle together!
News, info, thoughts and links from Lordship Hub, Lordship Rec and Central Tottenham
6th June 2020
A huge thankyou to everyone who donated so generously to the Hub crowdfunder appeal. We are so grateful, and not only for the money, but for all the lovely comments that have made all the staff and volunteers at the Hub feel so proud and empowered. Also Sport England recognised all the work done at the Hub to keep people fit and active and matchfunded our appeal with £10,000 to get us to our target.
EXERCISE AND WELL-BEING We all know that exercise is good for us. It makes us fitter, helps us sleep better, improves our mood, protects against many health problems and generally boosts our energy level. At the Hub we usually have over 40+ classes each week enjoyed by many people. Unfortunately due to Covid-19 we have had to stop classes and may not be able to restart them for a while due to social distancing. Luckily some of our regular teachers have set up online and here is a selection of classes for adults, young people and children. You can also run, walk, cycle (hire a bike from Rockstone Bike Hub) or skate in the park, all of which can be done while safely social distancing.
Running and The Feldenkrais Method® by Lynda Jessop who runs Feldenkrais classes at the Hub: www.movementaware.co.uk
I always wanted to run but never believed I could. A few attempts ended in overdoing it and feeling a failure, or worse, sustained an injury. The dream was still there but I did nothing about it for years.
At 68 years old I finally faced the fact that I would have to let the whole idea go or do something serious about it. A small heart scare late last year resulted in a full check-up and a clean bill of heart health. My GP and I agreed I should do more exercise to increase my heart rate –walking was not good enough! I started by going to ‘ONEYOU’ Healthy Cardio classes at Tottenham Green (see below). I was enjoying the classes and finding them manageable but they awakened my old desire to run. If this was going to happen, I needed to get some advice and help.
I turned to the ONEYOU/BBC COUCH TO 5K App. Just having a structure and a voice in my ear made all the difference as well as my preferred soundtrack putting a dancing spring in my step. The real benefit though is that the programme starts gently and builds up slowly over 9 weeks. My first day using the app had me running for only 60 seconds at a time – 60 seconds 7 times with 90 second walks in between. At the time 60 seconds running seemed like a lot and 7 times! Daunting at first but it turned out to be possible and the rewards were immense . When I say running most people would call it jogging – that is slow! But, I was off and for a few weeks doing 3 runs and gradually increasing the time running and reducing walking – sure that by now, I would be doing the full 30 mins/5K. Then tripped and went flying! Fortunately, I had no serious injuries but extensive bruising stopped me running for a while and when I did start again I had to go back a few weeks in the programme – which I hated so almost didn’t restart.
Two other things about me are relevant – first, I have never played sports, never run and I have asthma. I walk a lot but that has always been my only way to exercise – not a sporty type! Second, I am a Practitioner of The Feldenkrais Method® and have been teaching classes, known as Awareness through Movement lessons, at The Hub since 2016. I also see people for individual ‘Functional Integration’ sessions. The Feldenkrais Method® is not about exercise or strength but is a system devised by Moshe Feldenkrais to allow us to learn about ourselves through movement. His great insight was that all movement starts in the brain and the brain can change thus allowing us to change our movement and thinking patterns. He was way ahead of his time in identifying what we now know of as brain plasticity. By engaging in structured sequences of movement, going slowly enough that we can pay close attention to what is happening in ourselves, we can discover our own patterns of movement and thinking. This gives us the potential to change the things which are not helpful to us – making movement easier, more comfortable and more graceful. The Feldenkrais Method® uses movement to help us improve our posture, our skills in everyday life, performance and sport as well as promoting recovery from injury or illness and reducing discomfort and pain.
There are several principles in The Feldenkrais Method® that enable our self-learning and have helped me to start running. The two that I have concentrated on are letting go of the need for an externally imposed goal and developing awareness of how I am running.
Goals: We live, and I worked, in an objective driven culture. It is hard to let go of having a ‘target’ and comparing oneself to others. Moshe Feldenkrais encourages us to concentrate on and enjoy the process of development in the knowledge that we all start from different places and improve at a different pace. Obviously COUCH TO 5K fosters a target of running 5km in 30 minutes and I certainly got sucked into trying to achieve this goal more or less in this timescale and was very resistant to ‘going back’ in the programme after my fall. But why? There is no necessity to run a certain distance or to reach that distance in a given time – it is perfectly possible to adapt the app – repeat runs many times until I feel really ready to move on and/or find a distance and time that feels right so I can enjoy the experience of running at each level. I have discovered that I know when I am comfortable because I am running but thinking about other things entirely. It is helpful to challenge myself from time to time and see if further/faster feels OK but I look at it as an interesting experiment and (try) not to feel I have failed if it turns out to be more than is comfortable. The important thing to hang on to is that any amount of running is more than I was doing!
Awareness: There is a reason why Feldenkrais classes are called Awareness through Movement – Moshe Feldenkrais said that the awareness is as, if not more, important than the movements. So running with awareness of myself is crucial. Paying attention to how I feel in different parts of myself. I can do a simple scan of how I am feeling during running, comparing left and right sides to find differences in sensation – starting from my feet and moving up through my legs to my pelvis, lower back, upper back, shoulders, arms, neck and head. Sometimes simple awareness brings change but The Feldenkrais Method® offers a “laboratory” for exploring our inner experience and knowledge of how we move in more detail thus offering the possibility of change/improvement. So, having noticed that my feet were striking the ground differently I could pursue this insight through doing lessons and/or seeing another Practitioner for individual Functional Integration sessions. Others might notice patterns/habits such as stiffening the shoulders, leading with one leg, pushing out the chin any of which, if problematic, could be changed. There are many free audio recordings of lessons which I use regularly and at present there are also on-line classes available to everyone (see resources list below).
Using The Feldenkrais Method® has helped me identify my patterns of movement and thinking which I can change to make running easier and more enjoyable. It has helped me distinguish physical and mental barriers to progress and made me more able to recognise safe limits to prevent injury when I do challenge myself. It is ‘work in progress’ and I am very happy with where I am now – running (slowly) for about 20 minutes three times a week ….. but who knows how this might develop in the future if I stay aware and interested?
All Feldenkrais classes and individual sessions are obviously suspended at the moment but there areon-line classes – look for teachers at: www.feldenkrais.co.uk. Finally, for other ways of getting moving – a range of classes are/were available through ONEYOU Haringey – www.oneyouharingey.org/.
Pre-Covid-19, Kate was teaching Pilates classes at the Hub and in city offices. While venues remain closed, she has shifted to online classes so people can continue to get their Pilates fix. Kate is encouraging everyone to try and make a little time for themselves each day to do something that helps maintain a healthy mind and body during these challenging times. She’s adapted her classes, making them suitable to do from home, incorporating mindful breathing and meditation techniques as well as stretches and exercises to help compliment the change in pace and lifestyle for many. She’s even incorporating household items (toilet rolls and tins of beans!) to use as exercise equipment in one of the weekly classes. Below she shares with us a simple stretching and mobility exercise which is great to do first thing in the morning and/or just before bed to help mobilise the spine, correct bad posture, and stretch some parts of the body that need it.
Skate_Tingz is a group of young people passionate about skating who use Haringey parks including Lordship Rec and Finsbury Park. They are interested in involving as many people as they can in skating and they teach and perform. See them on instagram.
Wednesdays 6.30-7.30pm and Saturdays 9-10am. Email or text to book
Hula Hooping with Sara
MOTION IS LOTION
In my experience Hula Hooping relieves stress and makes me feel happy. It’s a work-out that’s fun. It’s an enormous mood booster. It can be a gentle or more demanding exercise – whatever suits my mood or needs. It has greatly improved my energy levels, balance and core strength. Hula Hooping to music adds even more joy to the mix.
Obviously it’s a form of exercise that is well suited to social distancing. If you want to buy your own hoop remember that larger, heavier hoops are easier to start off with. For beginners (adults) I recommend a weighted hoop with a minimum diameter of 100cm. I order my hoops from Oddballs shop based in Camden (www.oddballs.co.uk). There are many other providers online though.
If you would like to discuss what hoop to buy feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Women and girls hula hooping in Lordship Rec at Youthfest 2019
Baby Yoga and toddler yoga with Karen James
Baby yoga online for ages 6weeks to 8mths and 8mths-18mths Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays And Toddler Yoga for ages 18mths to 4yrs Saturday’s 10am All classes are £5 All classes are on zoom
Email Karen firstname.lastname@example.org to book and get the zoom link.
A hard workout with our friend Belvin, who ran the marathon for the Hub last year, who is demonstrating a Home workout tutorial/Shape Up with Spurs made by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation where he works. Good luck!
News, info, thoughts and links from Lordship Hub, Lordship Rec and Central Tottenham
30th May 2020
Please support and share our crowdfunding appeal to help Lordship Hub survive the lockdown. We are only 36% of our target and are in real need of financial support. Thank you to all who have generously donated and please share our appeal widely! www.crowdfunder.co.uk/support-lordship-hub
THE WONDER OF TREES
The beautiful weeping willow at the bottom end of the woodland area in Lordship Rec
All trees have some important, basic environmental value and provide us with many benefits.
Trees produce oxygen,
Trees store carbon,
Trees purify the atmosphere and mask noise,
Trees conserve water,
Trees prevent soil erosion,
Trees provide a habitat to a wide variety of insects, birds, and animals,
Trees provide shade, food and medicines
Trees generally create a beautiful environment, advantageous for mental well-being.
In short, trees help to maintain the balance of nature and create fantastic recreational spaces in cities.
THE WOODLAND IN LORDSHIP REC Once upon a time Tottenham Wood covered a large area of the old county of Middlesex from Muswell Hill to the marshes of the River Lea. It was the last refuge of wild animals such as boars, stags and wild bulls. King James I enclosed the wood for his private hunting in the 17th century and it has been suggested that Henry VIII may have also hunted there during his visits to Tottenham.
Today nothing is left of the original wood in Tottenham but in 1985 an area of it was recreated by the planting of a small wood in the south west corner of Lordship Rec. It was done by local residents, including schoolchildren, in partnership with the Council as an area of nature conservation. Planted with native species, these include a wide range of trees, shrubs and other flora such as oak, poplar, hornbeam, hazel, cherry, silver birch, blackthorn, dog roses and honeysuckle. A survey in 2016 by members of the woodland group found a total of 425 trees (with a circumference greater than 20cm), and 512 if elder, hazel and holly are included.
View of the woodland with field maple
Sadly it became dense and overgrown and suffered from rubbish dumping and few people ventured in. Following lobbying from the Friends of Lordship Rec it was then “rescued” as an area for conservation, relaxation and appreciation of nature. The Friends organised the construction of a winding path throughout the wood helped by the Conservation Volunteers (TCV). Interpretation boards designed by the Friends were added in late 2008.
There have been problems with waterlogging of the path and this has been addressed with help from TCV by digging out a mini stream and a pond. The wood is a haven for wildlife including birds, insects, squirrels and foxes. Currently there are tadpoles in the pond so there may be some frogs in a few weeks.
The wood requires regular maintenance to keep the paths in good order, remove invasive or non-native species, coppicing hazels, prune shrubs and trees to maintain sightlines and collect litter. Coppicing is the practice of cutting trees and shrubs to ground level, promoting vigorous re-growth and a sustainable supply of timber for future generations. Cutting an established tree down to its base encourages the fresh growth of many smaller shoots, which quickly grow upwards towards the sky. After 8-15 years, these are then harvested, restarting the cycle once more. This can help to prevent the manifestation of dead or diseased wood in the tree, by renewing constant fresh growth and the removal of old wood, allowing the tree to live for a lot longer than if it were left un-coppiced.
A member of TCV creating a bridge over a waterlogged part of the woodland path (left) and volunteers doing coppicing work in the wood (right).
Work in the woodland is done by a group of volunteers from the Woodland Group of the Friends of Lordship Rec in a two-hour session each month. We also receive help on three days each year from TCV which has included replacing the boards at the edge of the path and the bridge over the mini steam. We have also had help from Trees for Cities (TFC) in the past two years and their tasks have included making informal dead hedges at either end of the wood. Unfortunately, all these activities have had to be suspended in the current situation.
The wood has been reclaimed from an overgrown area blighted by rubbish and antisocial behaiour to become an attractive and valuable public wildlife and recreation area for local residents. It is very popular with dog walkers, families and other park users. During the last ten weeks of lockdown it has become even more important as an area of peace and tranquillity where we can escape from our homes. Children in particular are enjoying making dens, looking for tadpoles in the pond, seeing the wild flowers blooming in the wood and just generally becoming familiar with ‘nature’.
The pond dug by volunteers in the wood and the tadpoles who live in it.
If you are interested in volunteering in the wood contact Catherine Collingborn at email@example.com.
THE BRUCE CASTLE OAK
Bruce Castle Park, on Lordship Lane, Tottenham’s first public park, is home to the oldest oak tree in Tottenham, an ancient sessile oak tree which is over 450 years old. It was possibly a sapling when Henry VIII met his sister Margaret, Queen of Scotland, at Bruce Castle in 1516, and certainly would have been there when his daughter Elizabeth I visited in 1578. It came runner up in the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year award.
As the photograph above shows a large branch of the oak broke off in 2011 and this is the cause of its asymmetrical shape. There is concern about other branches and the general health of the tree so further work is being investigated.
TOTTENHAM TREES Tottenham Trees are a group of local people who are passionate about trees and everything about their protection and cultivation. They have created a great website with a huge amount of information. www.tottenhamtrees.org/
This information is taken from the Tottenham Trees website
HOW TO GROW A TREE FROM SEED Pick ripe seeds directly from the tree or gather from the ground. Use a paper or hessian bag to take your seeds home. Put seeds from different species in separate bags and label them.
Preparation of different types of seeds Fleshy fruits – Mix the berries with water and then gently mash them with a potato masher. Viable seed will sink to the bottom and the residue of the fleshy fruit can be discarded. For rowan or mulberry, put the berries in a sieve and gently squeeze with your fingers under running water to release the seeds.
Cones – leave cones in a paper bag to dry out naturally for a few days but not by a radiator or fire or in direct sunlight. The cones will open up and release the seeds.
Nuts – separate acorns and chestnuts from their outer casings and drop them into a bowl of water. Discard the ones that float and collect the ones that sink.
Winged seeds – these can be planted with the wings left on, just separate the seeds from each other and from their twigs.
Tree seeds are programmed to germinate in the spring so have a better chance of germinating if they have been exposed to the cold of at least one winter. Tree growers simulate a cold winter through a process known as stratification. Do this by soaking seeds in cold water for 24 hours and then putting them in a plastic bag (clearly labelled) in the fridge for a couple of months.
A longer method is to mix an equal volume of seeds into a stratification mixture containing one part compost and one part coarse-particle material such as bark chips, perlite or sharp sand. (Or just use compost.) The mixture should be placed in a pot or bucket with holes in the bottom for drainage and should be moist but not saturated. Cover your containers with mesh or netting to protect your seeds from birds and rodents. Leave over the winter in a cool place such as against a north facing wall.
Sowing Once stratified, sow your seeds in a suitable container such as a milk or juice carton or large yoghurt pot. Pierce holes in the bottom of the containers for drainage. Small seeds like birch and alder should be sown on the surface of the compost or soil and covered in a thin layer of sharp sand. Sow a pinch of seeds per container. Larger seeds such as acorns should be sown singly and covered to one and a half times their length in soil or compost.
Place the containers in a shady, sheltered spot to protect the seedlings from the elements. When the seeds have germinated, thin them out leaving one seedling per pot. Water the seedlings regularly and give them some liquid plant feed during periods of active growth. Weed occasionally but make sure you don’t pull up the seedlings by mistake. After a few months the baby tree may outgrow its container so transfer it to a larger one.
Your baby trees will not be ready for planting in their final growing positions until the next tree planting season: November to March. If you have space to plant your tree(s) in your garden then great, but if not make sure they are put somewhere where they will be cared for.
THE ORIGIN OF SEVEN SISTERS
The seven sisters of Tottenhamby John Greenwood(1790) and the seven hornbeams on Page Green today.
In 1996 a ring of trees, hornbeams, were planted on Page Green near Seven Sisters tube, by a remarkable delegation: 5 families, each containing 7 sisters, a tradition that may well go back hundreds of years. Over the centuries there have been many stories about a group of trees, 7 elms encircling a walnut tree, planted in Tottenham by seven sisters from one family. By 1732, the clump had become known as the Seven Sisters. The group of trees are marked on a local map as early as 1619 and some believe that the original seven trees were planted as long ago as 1350. The seven trees have been replanted a number of times, always by seven sisters but they are now in a slightly different location to the earliest plantings.
CHARTER FOR TREES
“The Tree Charter’s ambition is to place trees and woods at the centre of national decision making, and back at the heart of our lives and communities. The new charter will redefine the relationship with people and trees in the UK for present and future generations, providing guidance and inspiration for policy, practice and attitude, across Government, businesses, communities and individuals.” Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust CEO
“Trees provide food, shelter and homes to so many of our native species. That’s why the Tree Charter is so important; by championing trees and calling for protection, it is safeguarding a whole host of animals, insects and birds.” Chris Packham, naturalist and presenter.
Each tree is a world within itself, teeming with life. A fallen branch is a feast for beetles, fungal-rich woodland soil is a wildflower bed. A hedgerow is a living network, where a host of creatures share their home. At the time of launching the Tree Charter on 6th November 2017 more than 100,000 individuals had signed their names in support of the Principles.
Some of the trees in Lordship Rec
YOUNG TREES IN LORDSHIP REC Sally from Friends of Lordship Rec who co-ordinates activity in the Rec orchard writes:
In 2017 school children and other local people helped to plant over 200 tiny native species trees, both in the south west of the Main Field, and in two areas in the Orchard. The aim was to increase the biodiversity of the Rec.
In the Spring of 2019 local people planted about a dozen small fruit trees, including Damsons, Greengages, Sour Cherry and Sea Buckthorn, as the beginning of a windbreak to protect other trees in the Orchard. In October 2019 local families planted a dozen baby fruit trees, mostly varieties of Apple, in the Orchard, and they and volunteers are helping to water, weed and mulch them. And at the beginning of this March volunteers planted 6 more bigger fruit trees both in the Orchard and in the big fenced area to the South West of the Main Field. All the trees planted since October 2019 have names, such as ‘Ginger’, ‘Tough Mudder’ and ‘PearWe’! Most of the trees in the Orchard have labels, which tell you the type of tree, and for the baby trees, their names too.
Apart from the many benefits to us humans, trees provide vital habitat and a food source for literally thousands of different types of wildlife – from fungii to insects to birds. Unseen to many of us, there is an intricate interdependence between all forms of life on earth.
Many creatures rely on a particular plant or tree for example, for their development, and will only survive if that is available. For example, we planted Alder and Purging Buckthorn, which is the sole source of food for the caterpillar of the beautiful yellow Brimstone Butterfly. Happily they have been seen, both this and last year.
Volunteers taking part in a tree planting workshop and students from Gladesmore School digging. Inset, the beautiful yellow Brimstone Butterfly
Similarly the Spindleberry Bush planted nearby, which has pretty pink berries in the Autumn, is food for the Spindleberry Ermine Moth caterpillars. They build webs all over the bush to protect themselves, then proceed to munch ALL the leaves of the bush, leaving it completely stripped by early to mid May. However, within a week the bush starts growing leaves again, and within a few weeks it looks as if nothing ever happened to it!
The Woodland Trust have an excellent website where you can search for information about native British trees, what pests and diseases might be affecting them, what particular value they have for wildlife and much more, at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk . They also have a good online shop with information about buying trees.
Caring for young trees Of all the trees we have planted, 99% have survived and thrived, and many are between 1 to 2 metres high. But getting them to this stage has involved a lot of work. Over the past 2 years, local people, organised through the Friends of Lordship Rec with the additional enthusiastic support of Trees for Cities, have spent literally hundreds of hours mulching, watering and weeding. Mulching is a method where you put a good ‘doughnut’ of wood chip around the young trees, leaving a dip, like a ring doughnut, in the middle so the wood chip doesn’t touch the trunk but does cover the root area and a bit beyond. A rough guide is to mulch as wide at least as the canopy (leafy bit of the tree). Without this many, if not all, of the trees, would have died.
Mulch is magical stuff! It soaks up extra water to help stop the ground becoming waterlogged in a wet Winter – as we had this last Winter. It also keeps moisture IN during long hot dry spells in summer – as we are experiencing right now. But most important of all, it helps the growth of mycohhrizal fungii (fine fungal threads) under the ground that enable the roots of trees to absorb the nutrients it needs much more effectively. Apart from a wet winter or a persistent rainy period, young trees will need about 30 Litres of water every 10 days for their first 2 to 3 years. With a hose this is about 3 – 4 minutes watering for each tree.
A fallen log with stag beetle inset and lots of evidence of insect activity
‘Dead trees’ may be dead as a tree, but they will be teeming with life for all sorts of bugs and beetles, fungii and eventually flora. They are a crucial part of the intricate biodiversity web. Some creatures are completely dependent on dead wood for part of their life cycle and are critically endangered as their habit shrinks. For example the Stag Beetle will spend 7 years as a larva in dead wood before emerging as a beetle. Imagine eating dead wood for 7 years? Respect! The People’s Trust for Endangered Species ptes.org/campaigns/stag-beetles-2/stag-beetle-facts/ have information about this fascinating creature (quite harmless despite its fearsome appearance) and much else besides. Trees that are cut down are best left in as big chunks as possible at the place where they grew, to provide as much suitable habitat as possible.
Planting trees If you are thinking of planting a tree wait till October. Anytime between October and early March is fine, but personally I prefer October, as the soil is still warm, the tree will then have the winter to settle in, the mulch put down around it will have started to rot down nicely (to help produce all that mycohhrizal fungii) and it will be wet enough that little watering would be needed until the Spring after the initial planting month.
The Autumn and winter invariably see many well intentioned ‘plant a tree’ initiatives – but how often is their after-care thought of? Without this, many of the trees people enthusiastically plant will simply die. So check with the organisers that someone is going to care for the trees you plant.
If you are thinking of planting a tree in your own garden, remember ‘Right tree in the Right Place’. Think carefully how big the tree you are thinking of is going to get, and what conditions it likes to grow in. A good source of information about fruit trees is the Orange Pippin website www.orangepippintrees.co.uk/
The Orchard Project www.theorchardproject.org.uk/ has a wealth of information too about growing fruit trees, and especially about community orchards. They also run excellent courses, some online or partially online, for instance one soon about forest gardening. (Forest gardening is a food production and land management system based on replicating woodland ecosystems, in which trees and plants have been replaced by fruit and nut trees, bushes, shrubs, herbs and vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans. www.agroforestry.co.uk/about-agroforestry/forest-gardening/)
LORDSHIP REC SEASONAL TREE TRAILS Lynda, Sally and Alex, 3 local volunteers produce seasonal Tree Trail brochures with a map to take you on a walk to certain trees around the Rec. You can usually pick them up at the Hub, but sadly it is closed temporarily. Look out for them when we re-open.
TREES FOR CITIES
Trees for Cities are a charity who work across the Uk and beyond planting tens of thousands of trees and improving environments and involving lots of volunteers, including in Lordship Rec. Have a look at their website. www.treesforcities.org
Stay Safe and hope to see you soon when we can open safely as a takeaway establishment in the park.
HARINGEY PARKS AND THE FRIENDS WHO CARE FOR THEM Haringey has a great variety of parks and green spaces. We have over 40 Parks Friends Groups who work independently, in partnership with the Council, to do a huge amount of additional work to keep the parks and green spaces in a good condition. These groups of hardworking, local volunteers organise conservation days, nature walks, talks, events, and wildlife surveys as well as doing fundraising for improvement projects in their parks. They are all passionate about their spaces, whether they are recreation grounds, with play and exercise equipment, woodlands or nature reserves with fantastic natural features or a bit of everything. They also campaign generally for adequate resources for parks and work with the Council to produce management and action plans for their parks and actively engage in consultation with the Council about their strategy for parks in the future.
Tottenham Parks, top row left to right, Paignton Park, Markfield Park, Hartington Park. middle row left to right, Belmont Rec, Lordship Rec and Chestnuts Park, Brunswick Park, bottom row left to right Downhills Park, Down Lane Park, Bruce Castle Park, The Paddock
Now that we are allowed to wander further afield, it is time to explore Haringey and all it has to offer. Haringey has a great variety of parks and green spaces scattered across it, perfect for walking, playing, relaxing and experiencing nature. The Haringey Friends of Parks Forum, which is the umbrella organisation for bringing together all the Friends Groups in Haringey,published a fantastic book called A Walk in the Park with lots of information about Haringey parks and 7 different walks that link various parks across the borough, some short and some a bit longer.
Our local green spaces are vital for everyone and every community – and for all age groups and interests! They are an essential and unique service promoting relaxation, recreation and play, wildlife and biodiversity, attractive walking and cycling routes, green jobs and skills, heritage, flood control, health and social well-being, and community cohesion. And they are FREE! During this difficult time, parks have really shown how important they are.
Parks are there to be enjoyed for recreation but you can also enjoy being a part of their protection and improvement through joining a Friends Group in your favourite park. Nearly all the parks, green spaces and community gardens in Haringey have a group you can join which will mean you will be part of a growing movement across the whole country.
Our links beyond Haringey
The Friends Groups’ movement across the UK involves over 7,000 local groups similar to ours in Lordship Rec. Those groups are coordinated through the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces (NFPGS). The Friends of Lordship Rec have always tried to play our part in supporting and strengthening this movement – for example our Secretary (Joan) has helped to design NFPGS flyers, and our Chair (Dave) has been elected as the Chair of the NFPGS. Dave represents the NFPGS on a national greenspace coordination body liaising with Government. The first full conference of this was held at our very own Hub! Lordship Rec and the Hub are widely recognised as an inspirational example of successful community-led regeneration and community/Council co-management of an urban park, even being featured in a major piece on BBC’s Countryfile programme – www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjvb9MxxDrw&t=49s
As a result of what we have here in Lordship Rec, the Lottery has funded a special project based at Lordship Hub to promote community empowerment throughout the country’s green spaces – including the development of a new, specialist website supporting Friends Groups. This is a one stop shop for all Friends Groups and those wanting information about setting up or running a Friends Group – www.parkscommunity.org.uk
CAMPAIGNING FOR ADEQUATE RESOURCES FOR PARKS
The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces has produced a Charter for Parks, which was launched at Westminster in 2018. See: parkscharter.org.uk/
Dave, chair of the Federation with children from our local Willow School at the Charter Launch at Westminster in June 2018.
STARTING A FRIENDS GROUP
If there is a park, or small pocket of land near you that you feel looks rather unloved and you have some ideas how it could be improved for the benefit of local residents, first of all find out if there is a friends group that may have become inactive or if there is not, why not start one. The first thing to do is to make a basic flyer and canvas surrounding houses inviting them to a meeting about the space. The chances are others have had similar thoughts about the space. See who turns up and even if it only a couple of people to start with, organise a simple public event like a litter picking day or bulb planting, advertised with street posters and take it from there. Once you have the beginnings of a group, then get in touch with the Haringey Friends of Parks Forum and someone will come to one of your meetings to give advice and support. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME GREAT EXAMPLES OF GROUPS AROUND HARINGEY
Here are just a random selection of the many parks and nature reserves where friends are active in Haringey showing the variety of spaces available:
Rustic steps through ancient woodland in Queen’s Wood N10 3JP
For most of the last thousand years, maybe before that, Queens Wood was part of a mixed landscape of pasture, farmland and heath with lime, oak and hazel and later, hornbeam. By the beginning of the 16thcentury the woodland had become over used and degraded and to ensure the regeneration of the woodland, the wood was managed and enclosed to protect it from browsing animals. In 1898 the wood was purchased by the Hornsey Borough Council and renamed Queen’s Wood to mark the Queen’s golden jubilee and opened as a public park. Queen’s Wood today is designated as a Statutory Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Metropolitan Importance. It is no longer managed to provide timber, fuel and food, but managed to sustain and enhance the biological diversity of the wood. It is now a public open space, a haven for wildlife and a great place of leisure and relaxation.
The Friends of Queen’s Wood is dedicated to the conservation of Queen’s Wood. Membership entitles you to a regular Newsletter, talks, led walks in the Wood, special children’s events and information about local conservation and environmental issues. Members can take part in monthly working parties in the Wood. Volunteers do a terrific job doing conservation work including cutting back and coppicing as well as regular litter picking. The Committee is made up of local people who love the wood and want to protect it. There is also the organic Queen’s Wood Café near the gate at Muswell Hill Road Gate. www.fqw.org.uk/
This map from “A Walk in the Park” is a circular route that takes you through 6 major parks including Queen’s Wood. Go to the Friends of Parks Forum website link above to download the pages of the book.
Chestnuts Park has varied facilities from tennis and outdoor gym to orchard and meadows and café, N15 5BN
In 1898 Chestnuts House and grounds were purchased for £7,760 by Tottenham Urban District Council following a poll of ratepayers to decide whether the site should be retained for public use. This was overwhelmingly approved by 911 votes and, with some additional land purchased, it was laid out as Chestnuts Recreation Ground.
The park contains an outdoor gym and tennis courts (which are available and free to use all year round). It also benefits from a multi-use games area (MUGA) which, although designed for football, can be used for a variety of sports. There is also a basketball hoop and line markings just outside the MUGA. There is a community willow garden and orchard of 21 fruit trees. This area was developed and is maintained, along with Council workers, by the Friends of Chestnuts Park. The Friends have also recently funded the planting of a wildflower meadow.
The Friends of Chestnuts Park meet regularly and is open to everyone who wants to campaign to improve their local park and join in volunteering activities. www.friendsofchestnuts.org.uk/
Priory Park has many features for the enjoyment of everyone including this historic fountain. Middle Lane, N8 8LJ
Priory Park has large open grassy spaces, beautiful trees, an ornamental garden, tennis courts, philosophers garden, paddling pool, café, playground, and large asphalt area for netball practice and junior cycling.In 1891 the Hornsey Local Board agreed in principle to purchase the land which was to form the core of Priory Park, with the intention to create “a pleasant and safe retreat as a well-planted public pleasure ground, greatly to the advantage of children and others residing in the locality”. Priory Park, as we know it today, did not really come into existence until 1923/24 when the Council acquired the nine acres of land known as “Lewcock’s Field. After negotiations with organisations who already used the land like allotment holders and a bowls club, the park was completed in 1926 when the whole area was renamed Priory Park.
The Friends of Priory Park have facilitated some changes in the park and work to preserve and protect the park alongside Haringey Council, The Conservation Volunteers and other groups and welcome new members. prioryparkn8.wixsite.com/friends
Chapman’s Green is a small park sandwiched between Perth Road and Lordship Lane, a short walk from Wood Green Tube Station. Local people formed the Friends of Chapman’s Green in 2016 to give this under-used and overlooked green space some love and affection. We organise community events at the park throughout the year and try to keep it tidy with regular clean-up days.
Building on these beginnings, they are now working with Haringey Council and Grow N22 to explore how Chapman’s Green can best serve its community in the years ahead. With Noel Park Bowling Club having recently made the difficult decision to wind itself up, the park’s pavilion and bowling green needs to find a new use. And so now, more than ever, they want the residents to get together and plan what sort of future we want for our park.
Brunswick Park near Seven Sisters Station, N15 5ES, had a total facelift in 2017 with the development of a new Friends Group.
Brunswick Park Until the early 1970s, Brunswick Park was the site of an extra platform for Seven Sister station. The Palace Gates branch line once connected the station to Wood Green and Alexandra Palace. The last trains ran in 1964 and the railway lines were removed in the decade that followed, leaving behind an open space that has been developed into the park you see today.
In 2017, the park received funding from the London Marathon Charitable Trust and Tesco to redevelop its entrances and playing areas to create a more welcoming environment for all users. Haringey Council has also installed new outdoor gym equipment to encourage a healthy lifestyle among park residents. The Friends of Brunswick Park was founded in December 2017 and were involved in the process to improve the green space, formerly known as Brunswick Road Open Space. www.brunswickpark.co.uk/
There is a walk you can do from Alexandra Palace To Seven Sisters that goes into Brunswick Park as it follows the route of the old Palace Gates to Seven Sisters Railway.
News, info, thoughts and links from Lordship Hub, Lordship Rec and Central Tottenham
16th May 2020
Firstly, an appeal for your support to save Lordship Hub! Lordship Hub has started a crowdfunding appeal in order to survive the long period of shutdown with no income and no state funding or insurance payout. We would like to ask you if you could donate towards our survival fund and share the link with friends and family. Many thanks, from all at Lordship Hub. Our target is £30,000 so please help us get there. Every little helps!! www.crowdfunder.co.uk/support-lordship-hub
GARDENING AND SUPPORTING OUR ENVIRONMENT
We are so lucky in Lordship Rec to have access to such a variety of wildlife habitats. The Friends of Lordship Rec, with the support of TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) and other volunteers like Trees for Cities and Good Gym have helped to manage all the different areas of the Rec, organising volunteer work days in the Woodland, the meadows, the lake area, the river and the orchard and spinney. We would not be able to enjoy any of this without intervention from volunteers, the parks dept and contractors. Nature would have taken over completely!
Thriving meadow in the Rec with oxeye daisies
Gardening must rank as one of the most rewarding, enjoyable and healthiest pastimes you can have. It brings so many positives to your life. For some, gardening is a way of life, an escape from the pressures of life in their own space. It is a way of bringing colour and beauty into our lives and the lives of others. For others, who grow fruit, vegetables and herbs, it is a way of knowing that what you are eating is fresh and free from damaging chemicals. Gardening is also beneficial to wildlife, offering habitats and nutrition. If you don’t have a garden, you can use space in your home in pots and containers on window sills or balconies that can be just as rewarding or you can take part in community volunteering projects or, if you are lucky, get an allotment. To enquire about allotments see: www.haringey.gov.uk/libraries-sport-and-leisure/parks-and-open-spaces/allotments
The advantages of gardening are many. Although it can be hard physical work, it helps to keep you fit and active. Gardening also exercises your creativity, in designing your garden and choosing plants and pots. It connects you to Nature, bringing you closer to the creatures that share your garden, attracted by the wildlife friendly plants and features you have designed into your space. Its good to be outside and to get exposure to sunlight as that helps the body naturally to produce Vitamin D which is vital for a healthy immune system and strong bones.
WILDFLOWERS IN THE REC
Just a few of the many wildflowers growing in the Rec
The importance of wildflowers Wildflower gardens serve many purposes. They feed our pollinators – bees etc. People need these pollinators to fertilise the vegetables, fruits and flowers in their gardens when they are ready but the bees need to feed before and after that time so a variety of seasonal wildflowers are important for them.
Another reason for preserving our native wildflowers is that they are our natural heritage. There are very many of them and they have thrived in these islands for thousands of years despite the fact that man has built over so much of their natural habitat. They are very beautiful and an important part of our intricate ecosystem.
MAKING YOUR OWN WILD FLOWER GARDEN There are several different ways of starting your own wildflower garden. You can either weed out the invasive plants from an existing patch or start a new one. Don’t use fertiliser. Most wildflowers have adapted to medium to poor soils. You can buy wildflowers (responsibly sourced) as plugs or seeds or you can leave the soil open and wait for seeds to arrive through natural methods . You can transplant wildflowers if they are in danger of being dug out and thrown away from other sites.
Whichever method you choose, you will need to weed out the following plants because they are too invasive: Brambles, Couch grass, Bindweed, Creeping Thistles and Docks. The first four of these make many horizontal roots under the ground which travel over large areas and take over, so your wildflowers will not get a chance to thrive. The Docks have very deep roots which are hard to get out and also they drop thousands of seeds and take over that way. You could have one area for tall plants and one for small ones.
The point is to get as wide a variety of wildflowers as possible. Therefore if one species is taking up too much space, take some of it out. Wildflower gardens change naturally over time and afford much pleasure. I enthusiastically recommend making as many of them as possible even if it’s just a little corner of your garden or balcony. You will really enjoy watching the bees, hover flies and butterflies visiting your flowers.
Ruth, from Harmony Gardens and the Friends created these gardens. The one on the right Is outside the front of the Hub and the others (left) are in Harmony Gardens.
Bees – help them survive! Without bees, humans would not have much to eat! We can all do our bit to provide the right habitat for bees by growing suitable plants and not using pesticides. Climate change, habitat loss, pollution and disease threaten their very existence but we can help change that.
A view of Harmony Gardens with a lovely crop of broad beans in the foreground
Until the 1930s the land on which Harmony Gardens sits was still a farm and it formed part of the vanishing belt of market gardens and farms around inner London. Because it was a flood plain, it was one of the last to be built over until BWF estate opened in 1967.
The Garden was created in 2006 by a Charity called Back2Earth with volunteers from the local area. Funded by the People’s Lottery, it was reclaimed from a rubble-filled wasteland next to the Broadwater Farm Community Centre and Lordship Rec. The rubble was used to make the gabion walls of the garden. These recycled walls have plants growing in and on them. An intricately woven willow screen, made by a local willow artist, and some native hedging mark the boundary of the garden.
Most of the growing is done in raised beds made from recycled scaffold boards. At different times of year a variety of crops can be seen, from broad beans and beetroot to carrots and brightly coloured chard, and lovely smelling garlic, leeks, onions, and herbs – all mixed in with wild and cultivated flowers and fruit trees and bushes. There is a lovely curved walk lined with apple trees and roses trained up over metal hoops.
There is also a beautiful secluded children’s garden on the other side of the community centre with a wildlife pond, fruit trees and bushes and flowers and a lovely willow arbour. School children come to the garden to experience nature.
Back2Earth was wound up in 2018 and some of the existing volunteers started the Friends of Harmony Gardens who run the garden in partnership with other organisations like Edible London who are doing a great job right now growing, collecting and distributing food for people in need due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Since it was first planted in 2012 the Orchard has grown in every sense. There are now 89 trees in total, both very tiny young ones, and much older quite big ones. There are 21 different varieties of fruit and nut altogether.
The following varieties of fruit and nut trees and soft fruits are all growing in the Orchard:
Apple (many different varieties including Heritage Varieties), Apricot, Almond, Blackcurrant, Crab Apple, Cherry Plum, Cherry (several different varieties), Damson, Goji Berry, Gooseberry, Greengage, Jostaberry, Hazel (Turkish and English Hazels), Medlar, Mulberry, Pear (several varieties), Quince, Sweet Chestnut, Sea Buckthorn, Walnut, Wild Service Tree.
Additional trees were planted by local volunteers in the Spring of 2017 and 2018, along with a strip of soft fruit bushes along the eastern fence at Freedom Road. Yet more ‘baby’ fruit trees that had been grafted at a Friends of Lordship Rec workshop in the Spring of 2019 were planted out by local families on our very first Apple Day in October 2019.
Together with Park Staff the Orchard is cared for by a small core of volunteers. They prune, mulch, water, weed, scythe and much more, as the seasons roll on. The Orchard is in a challenging site. It turns into a bog in winter, and the clay soil turns to rock hard concrete in summer.
Nevertheless most of the trees and bushes are doing well, and with plans to develop the Orchard as more of a ‘Forest Garden’, in order to increase its biodiversity and resilience to climate change, there is plenty of work to do. No experience is needed and volunteers are welcomed. We hope to re-start monthly tree-care sessions later in the year, as well as our hands-on skills workshops, such as pruning, planting, grafting, coppicing, rustic fence making, basket weaving etc.
A number of successful Orchard linked Celebrations have been held, such as the Wassail in early January, and Apple Day in October, and we hope to continue with these.
As well as the Orchard many (over 100!) young trees were planted by local people and school children in the Spring and Autumn of 2017 in the 3 fenced areas to the south west of the big main field. This was in order to increase the bio-diversity of the Rec. A range of mostly native species trees, such as Oak, Elm, Wild Service Tree, Alder and Purging Buckthorn, and Hawthorn have already provided habitat for creatures such as the beautiful yellow Brimstone Butterfly, whose only food source is Alder and Purging Buckthorn, and the extraordinary Hummingbird Hawkmoth.
To get more information or to find out how you can get involved contact :
There are other fantastic projects in Tottenham and Haringey:
Growing In Haringey is an informal network for community gardens & anyone promoting sustainable food growing & gardening in Haringey and Sustainable Haringey is an independent informal network for everybody wanting to make Haringey more environmentally sustainable. You will be able to find out about lots of community growing opportunities around the borough on this site: sustainableharingey.wordpress.com/growing-in-haringey/
See this video about Crop drop , an organisation sourcing and delivering local, organic produce and delivering it to you.vimeo.com/306426596
TCV volunteers working with the Friends to prepare containers for new plants to grow in the lake as wildlife habitat.
The Friends have done a few projects to improve the lake as a habitat for wildlife. The most recent project was to add further planting in the north west corner of the lake and to add 2 more planted floating islands.
Every year for many years, the Friends of Lordship Rec, with other growers, have organised the Tottenham Flower and Produce Show. Hundreds of local people, young and old have entered their prize veg, flower arrangements, cakes and bread, jams and pickles, drinks and crafts and taken part in gardening and plant related workshops .
It is uncertain what can happen this year but we will be back as soon as we can or do an alternative appropriate activity!
A delicious foraging recipe – Nettle soup
Young nettles are rich in minerals, including iron, calcium, potassium and zinc. Because of their high protein content they are a good addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
150g mushrooms if you like them (any edible type) chopped or 1 carrot chopped if preferred
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 litre hot vegetable stock (you can make a batch of that the day before. Onions, carrots, celery and leeks are good for stock, but no seasoning)
1 colander of fresh nettle tops
salt and pepper
Chop the garlic. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat and add the onion and cook gently until softened and translucent, but not browned.
Add the mushrooms if you are using them and continue to cook until a little soft. Add the chopped potatoes (and carrot if you are using that) and simmer for a few minutes before adding the hot stock to cover. Simmer gently for 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
Add the nettle tops and chopped garlic and continue to simmer gently for a few minutes until the nettles have wilted. Use a hand blender to blend the soup to a smooth consistency.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and serve with crusty bread. You could use a dash of coconut milk to make it taste creamy.
Note: Wear gloves to collect your nettles. Do not taste, eat or use any plant unless you are 100% certain it is correctly identified. If there is any doubt, do not use it.