Sunday, August 12, 2007

Guerrilla gardening

George Orwell once said that some things are true even though they are in the Daily Telegraph. Similarly, some people are in the right even though their cases are taken up by the Daily Mail.

On Friday the Mail reported the case of June Turnbull, a 79-year-old lady who has been voluntarily tending a public flowerbed in the Wiltshire village of Urchfont for eight years. Now she has been told by the county council that she needs three warning signs, a second person to act as lookout and a fluorescent safety jacket.

As the Adam Smith Institute blog says, "stopping people from improving their communities is the worst form of mindless top down government".

It also points you to the wonderful Guerrilla Gardening, which bills itself as "a growing arsenal for anyone interested in the war against the neglect of public space.

1 comment:

dreamingspire said...

Of the numerous reports about this lady that I have read or heard and seen, only one report, on TV, pointed out that she is disabled and uses a wheelchair. It showed her wheelchair parked on the road next to the traffic island, and explained that she gardens on her knees. That puts a different slant on this: she is creating a traffic hazard all the time.
But I see council and contract gardeners working on roundabouts, with vehicles parked on the road protected only by cones. The staff do not always wear fluorescent jackets, and they certainly do not have lookouts. So the actions of the Council in this case are still well over the top.
The TV report said that the lady has suffered from polio for over 50 years. Not true: polio is a virus disease with flu-like symptoms and lasts less than a week. It is, as my brother and to a much much lesser extent myself can testify, the cause of damage to the motor nerves, which is what produces the long term disability.