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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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.


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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Active Arches Fit and Fed Summer 2020

We been very busy trying to get our Fit and Fed program up and running over these Summer Holiday and adhering to all the Covid 19 restrictions that are or were in place.

This led to us having to limit the numbers of young people that could attend to a maximum of 30 each day, which is very disappointing given on average we had more than double that amount the previous summer. Though unfortunate very necessary given the global pandemic and ensuring the safety and good health for those young people and their families who were able to take part in our summer program.

 

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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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Looks like Victory… Arches Local and Network Rail mural brightens up Luton Arches!

Arches Local has worked with Network Rail and artist Lionel Stanhope to brighten up a corner of our Big Local area, under local railway landmark the Luton Arches.

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Have your say on the future of our Big Local area here!

Have your say on the future of our Big Local area here by completing this survey https://t.co/oGBDB13KaY?amp=1 put up by Arches Chatham Neighbourhood Forum to feed into their Neighbourhood Plan for the area.

Some of the initial responses have indicated that people were overwhelmingly in favour of walkability, street trees, community infrastructure and terrace/low rise housing. Most people saw blank elevations, non-residential ground floor, enclosed spaces and high rise housing unfavourably.

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