Volunteers sow seeds of change in Eelbrook Common

Green-fingered Fulham helpers have planted flowers in Eelbrook Common to beautify the new and improved area following the extensive removal of the old paddling pool and children's playground last winter.

Volunteers at work in Eelbrook Common, Fulham

The grey concrete eyesore that was once Eelbrook Common's old paddling pool is being transformed into a vibrant green oasis.

Following extensive works last November to remove tarmac and rubber layers from the former pool and play area near Effie Road in Fulham, volunteers came together on Wednesday 17 April to prepare the ground, sow grass and plant colourful blooms.

“This area used to be rather sad looking, now it’s going to be seeded, planted, and much greener,” said Eelbrook Common resident Philip, who joined for the community planting.

The area had been a location for anti-social behaviour for some years and was in need of re-landscaping. More than 1,800 square metres of concrete slabs and metal railings have now given way to levelled patches of fertile soil.

The readied terrain won’t stay barren for long. With the newly sown wildflowers soon to blossom, they will add to the mix of primroses, violets, and agrimony planted this week.

The green improvements have been made possible thanks to a significant financial boost from H&F's £5million Green Investment scheme, with additional support from fees collected through the Fulham Clean Air Neighbourhood programme and the Grow Back Greener Fund 2022.

Volunteer sowing seeds in Eelbrook Common
Local resident Philip (left) with Higgins volunteer (right)

Flowers against flooding

The new and improved space has been designed based on residents’ feedback. It is set to help boost biodiversity, make space for pollinating insects and create a safer, more welcoming space for local people.

“I live on the Common, so it’s very much in my interest to have the space looking tip top,” said Fiona. The local resident is already dedicating her free time to helping keep the Common clean and tidy, with plans to join the newly formed Park Friends Group.

Eelbrook Common resident Fiona at work

Meanwhile, gravel paths have been installed to give rainwater somewhere to drain, prevent flooding and make the area more resilient to the changing climate.

By removing hard surfaces like concrete, it allows rainwater to absorb naturally into the ground instead of overwhelming Thames Water's ageing Victorian sewer system. When heavy rainfall overcomes the sewers' capacity, the mixture of sewage and rainwater can back up and spill into the river through overflow outlets as was the case just this week outside Wandsworth Bridge.

To help, the council is expanding H&F’s natural drainage network. Our contractors recently completed greening a stretch of concrete road verges along New Kings Road. The works have been funded by fees collected though the Fulham Clean Air Neighbourhood programme.

Join the Friends of Eelbrook Common

Come winter, the next phase of the project is set to bring new trees and spring bulbs to the area.

Want to lend a hand with future planting days? Reach out to parks@lbhf.gov.uk to join the new Friends of Eelbrook Common group.

Green verges along New Kings Road, Fulham

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