Open Garden Estates

To coincide with the National Trust’s Open Garden Squares weekend, ASH have proposed an Open Garden Estates weekend for London’s housing estates over the weekend of the 13-14 June.

We are promoting this as an opportunity for the public to visit and explore estates on a self-guided tour around the gardens of individual homes, communal courtyards and spaces.

The idea for Open Garden Estates came from ASH’s work on a number of council estates that have beautiful public gardens and green spaces, as well as some lovely private gardens and balconies. We thought this would be a great opportunity to show these off and celebrate the estates they’re on.

The aim of the event is to open housing estates up to the public, and in doing so help dispel some of the negative images of estates that are promoted everywhere in the media. The very idea of a garden on a council estate goes against everything we are told is wrong with London’s social housing, and in particular the myth of estates as concrete jungles.

Linking these green spaces together on a walking tour is a way to show the estate to the public in its best light, highlight how well they are designed, as well as increasing awareness of the communities that live there.

Open Garden Estates will be an opportunity for individual campaigns to publicise what is happening on their estate through accompanying street parties, exhibitions, performances, speeches, leaflets and conversations with both the public and fellow residents, as well as networking with visitors from other estates under threat of demolition.

Hands off Knight’s Walk and Save Central Hill Community have already committed to holding Open Garden Estates on their estate on this weekend, and the Save Cressingham Gardens, Our West Hendon and Save Carpenters Estate campaigns have expressed an interest in participating.

The organisation and promotion of Open Garden Estates will be the responsibility of the individual estates and the residents who have offered to open their gardens to the public. But ASH will work with you on producing maps of the garden tours, promotional leaflets and information about the regeneration process to be handed on your estate. We will also be exhibiting some of the work we have been doing with individual estates in exploring and developing alternatives to demolition.

By holding the event on the weekend of the 13-14 June we hope to capitalise on the publicity for the National Trust event, and we will be issuing a press release about Open Garden Estates to the mainstream media.

ASH would like to invite your estate to join us and make Open Garden Estates a London-wide event. Help us change the way the public and media view London’s social housing, and expose the lies, misinformation and myths spread by property developers and councils to justify their demolition of our homes.

The more of us get involved the louder and stronger the message we send:

Social housing not social cleansing!

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