Wild gardens: Gardening and Sustainability

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This section deals primarily with a long running dispute between the author and Britain in Bloom. It all started in 1998 with a threatened prosecution under the Town and Country Planning Act (section 215) for growing a 'wild' garden.

Links are given to a parallel section of SeeRed where other cases brought under Section 215 are outlined.

The sterility of formal 'Britain in Bloom' gardens is contrasted with the biodiversity of a few wild gardens in and around Sidmouth. Links are given to papers on sustainable development and to a unique wildlife education charity - the Offwell Woodland and Wildlife Trust.

The famous Sidford Wild Garden ('as seen on BBC TV') is where East Devon District Council (EDDC) bureaucracy was stopped in its tracks. The underlying arguments for wild gardens are outlined, together with a brief analysis of money that is spent by gardeners on environmentally damaging products and services. Only a fraction of the local Press coverage is shown.

Details of Sidford village together with hotels and guest houses in Sidmouth are now within another section of this website. Details of Sidmouth's famous 'folk festival' are here. Other local folk dance links are here.

The SeeRed website is being extended during 2008/9 to include further details of the thuggish behaviour of planning officers from Chester City Council in pursuing a man whose garden had merely been left to grow wild. This material (originally part of this section) has been moved to a new section. This will also include the more general material on section 215. Material that is centred on the Sidford Wild Garden is being retained in this section: this includes 'environmental' discussions of wild gardens.

Environmental assessments of large building projects are often undertaken to an incompetent standard using a government sponsored 'tick box' scheme. Many years ago the SeeRed author published a more logical methodology - the report is here but will only be of interest to academics. It is still used as a teaching aid in a few UK universities - so maybe it was worth writing! The core arguments can just as easily be applied to small gardens.

Index for this section

Highlighting the environmental destruction of Britain in Bloom

Letter in the Western Morning News about 'untidy' gardens

Low cost, low effort wildlife gardening

Headline news created by Sidford's famous wild garden

Article in The Independent on Britain in Bloom

Sustainable development - how you can make a difference

Margaret's Meadow: destruction of a riverside wildlife habitat in Sidmouth

Environmental perspectives: a world view

Realities of sustainable development - a short article from 2002. (word document)

Climate change - the author's perspective - 2008 (word document)

Entering the Sidford Wild Garden into the Sidmouth in Bloom competition, June/July 2008

Plant species in the Sidford Wild garden

Press comment August September 2008 - relating to bully-boy tactics by local councils

A High Court case in July 2008 - widening the definition of a garden?

A poster used during the 1998/2000 Sidford Wild garden dispute (word document)

Examples of long specimen grasses - allowed in all front gardens, except by order of Chester City Council?

The RSPB applauds areas of long grass left in gardens - maybe Britain in Bloom know better?

Examples of moss on driveways, walls etc - a plant allowed to exist throughout the UK - except in Chester!

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