Search is one for East End's greenest corners

GARDENERS with itchy green fingers are being encouraged to dig in and brighten up their neighbourhoods with a year-long contest to honour some of the greenest corners of the city. The Green Corners competition encourages the fight back to boost wildlife h

GARDENERS with itchy green fingers are being encouraged to dig in and brighten up their neighbourhoods with a year-long contest to honour some of the greenest corners of the city.

The Green Corners competition encourages the fight back to boost wildlife habitats in London's urban jungle as well as brightening up the city's streets.

Judges hope it will play its part in making London one of the world's greenest capital cities.

The awards are run by the Conservation Foundation which was set up by David Bellamy and David Shreeve in 1982 and this year the emphasis is on ways to encourage diversity in London.

Mr Shreeve said: "2010 is the UN's International Year of Biodiversity and London's Green Corners could well make the capital one of the most biodiverse places in the world.

Whilst Green Corners may be small, often secret places, they can be home to a host of plants and insects which added together play an important role in the quality of life and health of Londoners.

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"As well as bringing biodiversity to the urban landscape, they will enable individuals, communities and business to play their part in greening the city for the 2012 Olympics."

Categories include the Community gardens section which is supported by Archant London, which publishes the East London Advertiser. The company's group editor Geoff Martin is one of the competition judges.

Last month the Rosemary Works Community Association Planting and Art Project on British Waterways Land at Branch Pace, De Beauvoir, Hackney, who the community prize. It involves the community and nearby Whitmore primary school and has created an oasis for wildlife beside the canal.

You don't have to be the creator of the Green Corner to enter the contest.

Passers-by can nominate gardens they admire such as the Green Corners which are looked after by neighbours, or strangers who nurture pavement plantings, roof terraces, balconies or simple window sills, alleyways or sacred spaces providing welcome breaks from the urban rush.

Other Green Corners worthy of awards are community areas, playgrounds with children's flowers and vegetable plots, mews transformed by green fingered neighbours, and green additions to bus stops and stations which brighten journeys.

Monthly winners will be chosen for each category who will receive a certificate and local publicity and go forward to the final for judging at the beginning of 2011. Winners will receive special Green Corners prize and the nominators will be given a bottle of champagne. The overall winner of London's Green Corners will be presented with The Conservation Foundation's 25th Anniversary Trophy.

There are monthly awards and this month's closing date is tomorrow ( Friday May 21) and the overall winner of the year's contest will be presented with a trophy.

Last month's winners included Foyles Bookshop in Charing Cross Road for its green window display, Olley's Fish Experience whose floral display brightens up Herne Hill and a traffic island and hospital garden cared for by Guerrilla Gardeners in Lambeth.

The stunning garden at Sarastro restaurant in Drury Lane also picked up an award.

Enter the contest by sending an email to

Entry details can be found on the website but need two photos, up to 500 words explaining why the garden should win and details of the plants as well as the wildlife they attract.

The categories are: Community Green Corners - urban green spaces cared for and shared by people living nearby (supported and judged by Archant London).

Edible Green Corners where herbs, fruit and vegetables thrive (supported and judged by Capital Growth's campaign for 2012 new food growing spaces).

Green Corners for Health and Wellbeing - in offices and public buildings, as well as shops, hotels and restaurants which boost physical and mental wellbeing.

On The Move - green corners on boats, bikes, buses, trains, tubes, taxis or at stations and bus stops and visible from them as you pass.

Mews Green Corners made colourful by green fingered neighbours (sponsored and judged by Lurot Brand).

No Man's Land - unloved and uncared for strips of land, alleyways or cut throughs.

Pavement Green Corners - pavement patches and tree wells (in association with Guerrilla Gardening's Pimp Your Pavement).

Roof terraces, balconies and window sills with bird and insect loving plants (sponsored and judged by Capital Gardens).

Sacred Spaces - peaceful places for quiet reflection (sponsored and judged by Natural England).

School Green Corners where pupils and teachers get together to turn grey spaces green (in association with Tools Shed).

Water-wise Green Corners planted to flourish whatever the weather (sponsored and judged by Thames Water).

Young Londoners - green corners created by young people under 25.

The judges are Matthew Appleby (Horticulture Week), Pattie Barron (Evening Standard), David Bellamy, chairman of the judges, Rosie Boycott (Chair of London Food), Susan Hampshire (Actress and keen gardener), gardener and journalist Roddy Llewellyn, Geoff Martin (Group Editor, Archant London), David Shreeve (Director of The Conservation Foundation) and Christopher Woodward (Director of the Garden Museum).