10,000 Londoners To Get Planting With #Giveitagrow

Environmental charity Hubbub and the Mayor of London have launched #GiveItAGrow, a new campaign to help make London greener and create a culture of growing in the city.

On 14th September, the #GiveItAGrow initiative will give away 10,000 free planting kits to help residents make their homes greener and provide simple growing tips and inspiration.

The initiative is part of the Mayor of London’s ongoing commitment to making London a greener and wilder National Park City and follows on from the National Park City Festival (20th – 28th July), which invited Londoners to explore the capital’s amazing outdoors, with over 300 free events across the city.

The aim is for the kits to spark a joy for growing in Londoners that will inspire them to improve gardens and green balconies and windowsills to help wildlife like pollinating bees and butterflies.

The kits have been designed to work in any space, however small, including window boxes and balconies and to be easy for planting-novices to grow successfully.

The kits will be available from selected Starbucks stores, selected B&Q stores in London and IKEA Greenwich on Saturday 14th September, on a first come, first serve  basis.

Each #GiveItAGrow kit will contain:

  • Wildlife-friendly crocus bulbs
  • Mix of native wildflower seeds
  • Parsley and basil seeds
  • Growing matter (compressed organic coir brick)
  • Simple growing  tips printed on paper made from recycled coffee  cups

Used  coffee  grounds will also be available  from the Starbucks stores – more than a quarter (26%) of Londoners fertilise their soil with used coffee  grounds.

Londoners can  visit www.giveitagrow.info to find their nearest collection point and  find simple tips on growing from expert gardeners Kate Bradbury and Jack Wallington.

The initiative is expected to strike a chord with Londoners as three  quarters (74%) think more green spaces would make the city a nicer place to live.60% want to learn more about growing at home and about which plants are suitable for their space. As well as brightening up living areas, Londoners also feel that growing plants at home is a way we can all help protect the environment (68%) and  a further three  quarters (74%) think creating green spaces is important as it helps  support London’s bees and  butterflies.

Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues said: “In July I was proud to see  London declared the world’s first National Park City, in recognition of the capital’s exceptional open spaces, waterways and natural environment. These planting  kits are a great way for all Londoners – whether they’re seasoned gardeners or green-fingered novices – to help make  the capital even  greener. This summer’s National Park City Festival showed how passionate Londoners are about  supporting and celebrating our green  spaces – so whether you have a garden,  a balcony, or even  a window box,  get involved  and get growing.”

Trewin  Restorick, CEO and Founder of Hubbub said: “Londons  population is predicted to reach 11 million by 2050  so it’s important we invest  in supporting new  and existing  green spaces, which  are vital for wildlife and the overall environment as well as our mental  health and wellbeing. While parks and large gardens are great, the planting  kits are about  showing Londoners how  greening up even  the smallest of spaces can reap benefits by connecting

them with nature and improving  the environment. We’d  encourage residents to visit one  of the collection points  on the 14th September to pick up a free planting  kit and visit the website to find useful  growing  tips and ideas.”

As well as the free kits #GiveItAGrow is offering Londoners via the website:

  • Tips and ideas for growing at home including videos and advice on growing easy edible plants and attracting wildlife to your garden from expert gardeners Jack Wallington and Kate Bradbury.
  • Tips on how to save money and reduce waste by creating homemade plant pots from things you have at home.
  • Ideas about how to spread the joy of growing in your community by giving a plant or hosting a plant swap.
  • Accessible information on the benefits of green urban  areas.

Rob McCoy, Regional Director for London and the South at Starbucks said: “There is strong  desire  amongst Londoners to help make  the city a greener  place  and we’re delighted to join forces with Hubbub to make  this a reality. Using left-over  coffee grounds as an organic fertiliser is not only an effective gardening hack,  but also a way our stores put the used coffee grounds from our drinks to good  use,  through  our Grounds for Your Garden  programme. By

offering those in and around  our participating  London stores one  of the useful  growing  kits, and encouraging local communities to get involved,  we are hopeful we can equip  them with the right tools  and also put coffee waste to good  use.”

Jack Wallington, urban garden designer said: “Over the years I’ve grown  vegetables, herbs and fruit in the smallest, most unlikely spaces from my tiny one  bed  flat in Clapham. There is nothing  more  rewarding  than podding a pea  or plucking  a radish grown  from seed to eat with your dinner, yet I’ve found  most existing  advice  for growing  produce is totally disconnected from the realities of London life. To help, I’ve shared  some of my top tips for growing  at home even with no garden  at all!”

#GiveItAGrow is part of the Mayor of London’s commitment to making the capital a greener, healthier and wilder National Park City. It is being supported by partners including Starbucks, IKEA Greenwich and B&Q.

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