Cllr Caroline ffiske writes:
Residents living on the Lytton Estate have complained to me about the quality of grounds maintenance. In response, I recently went on a “walkabout” with senior housing and grounds maintenances officers. It did not take officers long to agree that more care is needed. A particular problem is the proliferation of self-sown saplings. Some have grown so large that they will require considerable effort to remove; yet tended to in good time, their removal would be easy. Pictured is a sycamore seedling which is well over six feet tall.
Another theme was dead shrubs which inexplicably have not been removed. The glyphosate ban also means that weeds are flourishing. I asked officers if there is any danger of large weeds, including buddleia, cracking concrete and walls. I think the conclusion is that the jury is still out on this, but it is something that needs to be watched carefully.
Residents had previously shown me where rough sleepers have been using a stand of very dense holly trees in the grounds of Clifford and Falkland House. I’m pleased to say that officers have moved very quickly to remove the lower branches. The area looks far more light and attractive and will no longer be a target for rough sleepers.
The rose bed outside Burne Jones House has more weeds than roses. Officers agreed that a dense layer of mulch will keep down the weeds and help the roses to flourish. I look forward to seeing this in place.
All in all a very useful exercise. The grounds of the Lytton Estate are potentially very beautiful and in many parts they are already so. There are many residents on the estate who play an active role in community gardening. I spoke to other residents who are hugely appreciative of the work of the community gardeners.
If all the interested parties can work effectively together, the Lytton Estate grounds could be the most beautiful in the borough.