Is This Luton Road's First Street Tree? 🌳

Luton Road was, until now, one of Medway’s few Victorian roads that had desperately been without street trees in modern time. Urban greening has been one of our flagship projects at Arches Local for the past few years, so we’re pleased to announce that the first street tree in a generation, perhaps ever, has been planted in Luton Road.

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Town Hall Gardens Community Event 🏞️

On Saturday 22nd January we joined Medway Council to bring the community together to discuss improvements to Town Hall Gardens as part of the Safer Streets initiative.Read more


Arches Urban Forest 🌲

Despite the weather not being on our side, we were out in force planting street trees (a mixture of ginkgo biloba and ornamental pears) with our partner mhs homes for National Tree Week. Due to the success of our Luton’s Urban Trees programme, it has expanded to become Arches Urban Forest.

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Fit & Fed October 2021 ⛹️

Thanks to our partners, we were able to continue our expanded Fit & Fed programme over the October 2021 school holiday at Luton Primary School. Similar to our fantastic summer programme, we were able to offer more than just multisports this time around too, Nucleus Arts joined us twice a day over the week and Creatabot pop in too, for a myriad of creative and engaging activities.

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Fit & Fed Summer 2021 ⛹️

Thanks to our partners and Medway Go, our expanded Fit & Fed programme this summer was a huge success! Not only was there multisports this term, we had everything from kayaking to t-shirt print making, local young people took part in many engaging sporting and creative activities over the course of four weeks.Read more


Community Allotment Update 🌻

Whilst it's been all hands on deck at Fit & Fed, Hazel's been very busy at our community allotment!

Over 40 raised beds have been created to enable local people to adopt them and grow a myriad of fruit and veg without having to commit to a full sized allotment. 10 raised beds have already been adopted by local people with plans to personalise them in bold colours. There are 34 more to paint and loads of non-gardening projects in hand. Are you interested in adopting a planter? Get in touch! 

In addition to these planters, we have a wildlife area, sensory garden and 4 ponds in the works, we even have a moveable apple tree that sits in a giant 1000l container and over a tonne of soil.

If you live locally and are interested in getting involved with our community allotment, please get in touch. 

 

 


Young Planners Workshop

During Fit & Fed, our young people had the opportunity to help shape the future of the old GO Outdoors and Market Hall site in Chatham, which is currently seeing a community-led plan being created known as a Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO).

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Community tree maintenance day! 🌲

Last month, we held a community maintenance day for our Luton Urban Trees project. We were joined by a handful of residents, pupils from Luton Primary School and Local Trust kindly sent down a fantastic photographer to capture the unfoldings.

 

(Picture by Andy Aitchison / Local Trust)

The day was focused around a tree worksheet (1 per tree) where everyone involved answered a series of questions .e.g how tall is the tree, what shapes are the leaves and its species.

 

 

This was a fantastic exercise to learn more about our newly planted trees and to learn how we as local people can influence positive change. This information was gathered and archived so we can monitor the changes in these trees and compare them at our next community maintenance day.

 

 

Planting trees in urban areas isn’t as simple as you might think, that’s why we held a mini-workshop on cable avoidance. It was fantastic to see local children safely finding underground utilities using the CAT4 scanner and to learn together the complexities of urban street tree planting.

 

Keep your eyes peeled for our next community maintenance day. 

#BigLocal #Medway #Community #BetterTogether


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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Work finally underway to give Chatham’s historic Luton Arches railway bridge a facelift

Work has started to clean and repair a well-known railway bridge in Chatham.

The 1858-built underbridge, part of the Luton Arches, carries the London to Ramsgate main line over the steep valley leading towards the village of Luton, now part of the wider Chatham area.

The red and green cast iron arch is seen by thousands of people every day on their way in and out of the town on the A2 road.

After a long life in service, the bridge now needs refurbishment to make sure it can continue to carry trains and passengers for another 160 years, as well as maintain its place as an admired landmark in the town of Chatham.

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