Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Furness College creative media student visit

Furness College tutor Mark Preston and creative media students prepring to produce small videos films on the Green Heart Den.
Mark and the students are to provide short video films for the Building Community website which is to detail our progress over the following 12 months.

Building Community is an online showcase featuring real-time practice from partnerships comprising councils and communities that are in the process of transferring land or buildings into community asset ownership. The Building Community films are made in conjunction with the Asset Transfer Unit.

"Outdoor classroom" maths lesson

Teachers, staff and pupils from Greengate Junior School continue to enjoy the surroundings while conducting their "outdoor classroom" maths lesson. Inspiring.

Bottom picture courtesy of Steve Hillman. Cheers Steve.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Favourite picture memories - part 2

Central and Hindpool Junior Wardens.........Inspiring

                                                                    Grengate Junior School, "Outdor Classroom"

North plot lease update

Excellent news: Barrow Borough Councils Executive Committee have granted us and 85 year lease for the north plot. Thank you to all who made this possible.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Our Blue Tits have returned

Looks like the blue tits may be returning to nest in the bird boxes. Fantastic.

We find our stolen wheelbarrow.............

Our Project Coordinator has just found the wheelbarrow which was previously stolen along with our Honda generator.
Big thank you to PCSO Suzanne Paton for responding so promptly to his call and recover the wheelbarrow.

North plot community "grow you own" type scheme proposals

The North plot as it is before we begin its proposed development, in partnership with others, as a community "Grow Your Own" type scheme.
It is hoped that, among the main health benefits of such as scheme would include; increased opportunities for physical activity, improve mental health and well being, increase the availability of fresh food and a decreased stigmatisation of mental health problems .

This has generated a great deal of interest and support from our many partners, key stakeholders, funders and friends.

Such a scheme could also be a fantastic way to involve others and help to provide individuals and organisations, particularly those who do not currently have the space or facility, an opportunity to grow their own, for their own use in one of the many raised planters we are proposing to provide.

In terms of sustainability it is hope that we could generate additional support from local businesses and possible some of our current partners and key stakeholders who may like to sponsor a planter for a small cost and on an annual basis. These planters could then be branded with their logos.

Cuttings and seedlings grown by ourselves could potentially be sold at a reduced cost to visitors to the scheme and to the Green Heart Den.

We would also hope to genarate the interst of others who may like to be involved and potentially donate seeds, plants and garden supplies etc.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Furness Brick Co, Barrow

Confirmation that the North plot wall was originally built with bricks provided by the Furness Brick Co, Barrow.

Junior Wardens preparing to monitor bats

North plot grasshopper

A grasshopper on the north plot banking taking advantage of the sun during a break in the heavy rain.

Favourite picture memories

As we have thousands of pictures documenting our progress and our work in partnership with others I thought it might be nice to regularly highlight some of our favourites.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service coming to our assistance, helping to fill our water feature.


                       Streetsafe - North plot clean up.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Day to day management confusion

After receiving several concerned calls in regard to a recent media article which appears to have caused some confusion over the management and day to day running of the Green Heart Den, we would like to reassure our key stakeholders and funders that we continue to be managed and run by the Marsh Street Arches and Garden CIC.

Thank you.

Friday, 17 September 2010

North plot wall update

We would like to thank all at Barrow Borough Council for their swift response to our most recent report on the condition of the wall. They shared our concerns and aranged for the appropriate demolition and repair works.  In particiular thanks to Val Holden, Andy Buck and Kevan Morrison who visited the site earlier this week with our Project Coordinator and to Armstrongs who agreed to conduct the demolition of the most dangerous section as a matter of urgency.

It is hoped that associated works to the remaining section of wall will be conducted over the following months.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Condition of north plot wall

The condition of the wall along the boundary of the north plot and Marsh Street back street continues to deteriorate. You can now actually see through the wall in several areas.

We have closely monitored the deterioration of the wall, regularly reporting its condition to Barrow Borough Council who have shared our concerns and assessed the potential risk it could pose to the public.

We would like to thank all at Barrow Borough Council for their swift response to our most recent report on the condition of the wall. They share our concerns and are now progressing appropriate demolition and repair works to the wall.  In particiular thanks to Val Holden, Andy Buck and Kevan Morrison who visited the site earlier this week with our Project Coordinator to view the condition of the wall first hand.

Greengate Bridge structure - water seepage

Following the recent meeting between our Project Coordinator Graham Bromley, Sam Cowsill - Network Rail Structures Mangement Engineer (Cumbria), and Tom Clark - AMCO Rail, it is understood that the water seeping through Greengate Bridge structure could possibly be contributing to the deteriorating condition of the structure. The water leakage may potentially be cause by i) blocked or damaged road drains on Greengate Street and/or ii) a leaking water service pipe in the structure of the bridge itself. The water pipes were identified in a drawing kindly provided by Sam Cowsill.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Learning the skills of cooperation

"Learning the skills of cooperation"  is a think piece on Building our capacity to work together by Geoff Mulgan and explores some of the skills we need to be good co-operators, and how we can refresh them.

For more information please visit the Co-operatives UK website here.

Alterntively a copy of the report can be downloaded here.

Stonham Housing Event Feedback

Following a recent event facilitated by Stonham Housing on the Green Heart Den we asked if they could please complete our standard event feedback form. Please find comments received as detailed below:

What did you most enjoy about your experience on the Green Heart Den?

"The event we held at the Green Heart Den was the Summer Bar-B-Q, we have held them before, but as it was the turn of the South Cumbria Floating Support Services turn it was decided that a more central venue was needed. Somewhere out side of the project which is 11 Brewery Street, and as floating support work with adults in the community it was felt that the Community gardens was an ideal venue to use.

Stonham have been involved in some of your projects held at the den and over the time have seen the massive difference the gardens have made to so many people, your hard work has eventually paid off.

All who attended the fayre commented on how beautiful the venue was and had not visited the gardens before, but thoroughly enjoyed themselves, lots of open space and so well thought out, it was a great place to hold an event"

Are there any other comments you would like to make?

"Stonham would definitely consider using the Green Heart Den for future outside events.
It was a great day, and hope that our successful event will be the start of more great events held at the den"

We would like to thank Lisa and all at Stonham for looking after the Green Heart Den during the event and for taking the time to complete our event feedback form. It was very much appreciated.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Helping to reduce instances of recent dog fouling

Installing fine, plastic coated wire netting on the Green Heart Den gates.

It is hoped that this will restrict access to the little terrier who has been visiting the Green Heart Den recently and leaving little "messages"

Friday, 10 September 2010


Landshare is an online network that connects people who want to grow with those who have land to share. It brings together people who have a passion for home-grown food.

It’s for people who:
•Want to grow veg but don’t have anywhere to do it
•Have a spare bit of land they’re prepared to share
•Can help in some way – from sharing knowledge and lending tools to helping out on the plot itself
•Support the idea of freeing up more land for growing
•Are already growing and want to join in the community

It began with the tiny seed of an idea – and it’s growing and growing and is now a national movement of more than 50,000 people.

For more information please visit their website here.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Building Community intital video

Project Coordinator Graham Bromley and Jackie McQueen of the DTA introduce the organisation's plans for the land, transfer of the neighbouring council-owned empty home and their hopes for a long term lease of the arches from Network Rail.

....................................Big thank you to Lou, Sarah and Carl

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Small Copper butterfly on the north plot

The small copper is a small butterfly that is widespread through Britain and Ireland, and occasionally visits gardens. Bright copper with brown spots and brown margin. Undersides orange-brown with spots.

It occurs in a wide variety of habitats: chalk grassland, moorland, heathland, coastal dunes and undercliffs, woodland clearings, and unimproved grassland. This species may be found also in small patches of land such as set-aside fields, roadside verges, railway embankments, allotments, churchyards, and waste ground, even in cities. Warm, dry situations are especially favoured.

Additional information about butterflies and moths can be found on the Butterfly Conservation website here.

Our aim for the potential development of the adjacent railway arches

We continue to consult with Network Rail and Spacia in the hope of securing a long term lease for the potential development of the six adjacent railway arches.

An example of railway arch development at Granary Wharf, Leeds

Since 2004 we have conducted and commissioned various consultations in the local area while developing options for potential, sustainable uses of the railway arches. The management committee hope that they can be developed as a social enterprise - in such a way that they would be of benefit to the community and provide additional resources for the local area.
Options identified during consultations conducted between 2004 - 2009 have been assessed in terms of; feasibility, sustainability, their ability to satisfy the needs and aspirations of the community, and the economic, social and environmental impact any potential development would have on the local community.

A summary of our consultation reports can be downloaded here.

Among the themes identified include:

• Health/healthy lifestyle resource - this could compliment our plans for a community "grow your own" type scheme on the north plot.
• Facilities for young people.
• Sports and recreation centre.
• A facility for training/education/routes to employment
• Environmental activities - this could potentially include John Muir Award training, Cumbria Wildlife Trust workshops and opportunities for promoting recycling and sustainable energy.

One arch could be used as our office/base of operations and include; a shared communal space, toilet, washroom, and kitchen facilities. This could be utilised as a show case arch.