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20/04/2009

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 20 April 2009

In an event recorded in Liverpool at BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking festival 2008, Bidisha introduces a lecture by Richard Reynolds and audience questions to him on the ethics and effectiveness of what be believes to be the fast-expanding craft of 'guerrilla gardening'.

It involves taking over an abandoned section of land to cultivate crops or plants and is a form of non-violent direct action practised by environmentalists.

Reynolds gardens wherever he finds himself, whether it is creating a garden in a number of neglected beds outside the block of flats where he lives or planting lavender on a traffic island. He believes any public space that has been undecorated by civic authorities and public alike can be turned into something more attractive and humanising for all.

He claims he springs from a long line of radicals - he cites 17th-century Digger Gerrard Winstanley as a forebear - and he originally acted entirely without permission (although that has now changed in some cases), working on many sites that belonged to someone else - typically the public authorities.

  • Guerilla Gardening

    Richard Reynolds delivers a lecture on what he believes to be his fast-expanding craft –“guerrilla gardening”.

    Reynolds gardens wherever he finds himself: he started by creating a garden in neglected beds outside the block of flats where he lives. He planted a bed of lavender on a traffic island and put sunflowers outside the Houses of Parliament. Any public space that has been undecorated by civic authorities and public alike – and he believes can be turned into something more attractive and humanising for all.

    Reynolds claims he springs from a long line of radicals – he cites seventeenth century Digger Gerrard Winstanley as a forebear. But of course, guerrilla gardeners often act without the permission of the public owners of the land.

    So what is the ethical case for guerrilla gardening? Richard Reynolds is questioned by Bidisha and an audience on its legality and effectiveness, in an event recorded at Radio 3's Free Thinking 08 Festival.

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