Luton’s Urban Trees Movable Forest has landed!

Medway’s first, one-of-a-kind ‘movable forest’ has landed in a Chatham primary school, thanks to resident-led organisation Arches Local.

Working together with Medway Plus, a locally-based charity, we were successful in gaining funding in November 2019 from PostCode Local Trust for £10,000.00 together with £5,000.00 Big Local Match Funding totaling £15,000.00.

Partly due to the complications around COVID-19, we were not able to fully deliver the goals of the original Luton’s Urban Trees submission. This led to us not being able to plant as many street trees as originally planned. In March 2020, Postcode Local Trust announced that the funding we had received was considered unrestricted (with certain conditions in place).

With this announcement in mind, we developed a ‘movable forest’ concept of placing large trees in large containers that could be flexibly moved around the Luton area of Chatham. These trees were planned to be initially placed at a local primary school which has no discernible tree canopy, suffering from swathes of hard standing playgrounds.

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Wishing you a Happy Holidays 2020!

Our last official day is the 19th of December 2020 though our community space at the Pentagon is currently closed we will return there on the 4th of January 2020. We thank you all for #gettinginvolved and supporting our #BigLocal this difficult year and wish you all a Happy Holidays and New Year #Community #BetterTogether.

We will be working with partners on Festive Food related projects to help support those in need in our #BigLocal community before 4th of January and during the Festive Holidays. So please keep checking here for any updates or support that may be available during that period!


Greening the grey in Luton: dozens of trees planted to mark National Tree Week

Thirty-one trees have been planted in and off the streets of Luton in Chatham as part of a partnership between local organisations to mark National Tree Week. Species planted include pear and birch trees in the Castle and Listmas Roads with a selection of Ginkgo Biloba in the Maida Road area, the trees will now take a period of time to settle before reaching full maturity.

Next steps will include the local community, with support, looking after their future maintenance and care to help ensure they thrive in their new homes. Community group Arches Local with Medway Plus a local charity worked together with the UK's largest independent social landlord, mhs homes, to plant the trees with their estates team led by Rhys Dejersey.

Stephen Perez, Arches Local Coordinator, said that best time to plant these trees was 15 years ago, the second-best time was now and by working together, that’s what we’ve achieved. We now look forward for many generations to come within our community to reap the benefits of this planting.

The trees have been carefully placed in a part of Medway that is either within or next to what is classified as an Air Quality Management Area, due to it experiencing poor air quality. These newly planted trees will not only help combat climate change globally, but locally clean the air by locking up carbon, help cool the area and improve the visual aspect of the area.

This work in part has been made possible by an award from People’s Postcode Trust, a grantgiving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. We will look to further recognise them and our other supporters through various different methods, including bright tree labels pictured below which are coming soon and will be attached to each tree.  Keep an eye out for them as they will give more information on fun ways on how to get involved and details on the type of tree it is.

The Luton Urban Trees Project was delivered thanks to a combination of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, Orchard Community Energy, PostCode Local Trust, and Local Ward Councillors. National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the winter tree planting season (November to March each year) Arches Local was formed as part of the Big Local initiative, funded by the then National Lottery, to improve areas across England, including central Chatham, ending in 2026.


Big Local Celebrating National Tree Week 2020

National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the winter tree planting season (November to March each year). This year, it’s taking place between 28 November – 6 December.

Though we had planned as part of our Luton Urban Trees project to have community tree planting event during this period, due to Covid 19 restrictions we decided to keep everyone safe this would now not be possible.

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Arches Local Community Art Together Celebrates Black History Month 2020

October is Black History Month in the UK, an event that has been celebrated nationwide for more than 30 years. The month was originally founded to recognise the contributions that people of African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to the UK over many generations.  Now, Black History Month has expanded to include the history of not just African and Caribbean people but black people in general.

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20 years of Luton Millennium Green... Let's Celebrate!!

This year marks 20 years of Luton Millennium Green which is definitely something worth celebrating. Back then in September 2000 the youngsters had a message for us asking, "for the people of Luton to look after our Millennium Green".

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Friends of Luton Millennium Green?

We are looking for people who care about our local park and green space, to help us form a Friends of Luton Millennium Green Group.

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Try our #TreeTrail Walk

Using the ticl.me app we have created a Tree Trail walk through Luton Millennium Green and beyond for anyone to enjoy. Along the Tree Trail we have marked species of Trees, other fauna and points of interest for you to check out.

We plan to keep updating and adding more to the trail but please have go of the walk and tell us what you think? We hope you enjoy doing it as much as we did making it!


We Need You! for our Partnership!

We Need You! for our Partnership!

We’re looking for new partnership members to join us helping influence how we bring about local change. Our partnership is made of up local residents and businesses who live and work in our Big Local area which covers parts of Chatham Central.

Being on the partnership isn’t a full-time job, we really value your time and you can get involved as much as you choose. We generally meet up every other month to discuss what’s happened and make decisions on future plans for our area.

If you’re interested like us in making a difference and playing a role in changing our community for the better, or want to know more please get in touch!


Arches Local unveils new green wall at Luton Junior School

Arches Local led on a scheme supported by Cool Towns Project, Luton and Wayfield ward councillors, Tracey Crouch MP, University of Greenwich and New Build Landscapes who during February 2020 half term together with Arches Local staff and Luton Junior school teachers installed the ivy-clad wall (free of charge) at the front of the school, repurposing living green hoardings that had been used previously at construction sites.

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