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An allotment was created from a formerly derelict piece of land by a group of guerilla gardeners, however, they were evicted, along with their 9×7 summer house cum garden sheds, when the owners became aware of their actions it was reported by the Scotsman, the long running Scottish Daily paper.
Adjacent to the railway line running from Edinburgh’s Morningside district the plot of land in question, was cleared of accumulated rubbish and vegetables were cultivated making use of this unused land. It was only when they came to harvest their crop, tended to over many months, that they found the access to the land was prevented by padlocks on the gates which had been fitted by the owners of the land, Network Rail. Network Rail then gave them 10 days to remove plants and tools, which I would assume were stored in garden building on the site.
Network Rail did offer to rent them the land, but the gardeners guerilla’s group refused to pay the rent as it was 10 times what they would expect to pay at a council allotment. They did not say whether they entered into negotiations with Network Rail about a more reasonable rent.
A biologist from Edinburgh University, Professor Richard Carter, who was involved with the gardening group relayed to the Scotsman that they had cleared the land which included a great deal of rubbish removal, including dangerous material, and had planted seeds on it and maintained it. The land had been restored to far better use than before. It was obviously a far better looking garden site to look at as well.
Guerilla gardeners essentially gardening on other persons land without their permission. This can be anyone who creeps overs their own boundary into next doors or, after seeing land not being used and then decide to use this for their own purposes or for environmental issues. I don’t know whether they have these issues in elsewhere but it might be worth keeping at eye on this. There have even been cases where they have built garden buildings. such as sheds or summerhouses, on the land – cheeky ‘so and so’s
People can vary from the very keen gardener right through to persons trying to gain financial benefit by claiming the land. Because if the land is abandoned or neglected by the owner in law then these guerilla gardeners can take it over by effectively squatting on the land for a number of years undisturbed. They believe that reclaiming land which they perceive is being neglected or misused is their right and their duty. By using these gardens for growing is a good use of this land.
Many of these guerilla gardeners encroach on to these lands secretively at night where they would sow some seeds to establish a new vegetable plot. They feel this proactive action is right and proper. However, if they feel so strong and are right then why do they do this in secret. If you ARE right you would do this openly.
Quite recently the local government had released the think tank report calling for the government to create more 9×7 allotments as well as community gardens on over 3,500 hectare on unused ‘brown field’ land by the carrot of tax breaks to the legal land owners.
Do you have any guerilla gardeners in your area? Do you think it is right what they do? Do you think the government should take action to ensure all land is used? Are there ‘brown field’ sites in your area?
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