Toby Amies meets plant enthusiasts determined to make their mark on their neighbourhood, regardless of the rules, by taking trowel and seedbomb in hand to go guerrilla gardening.
Toby Amies meets plant enthusiasts determined to make their mark on their neighbourhood, regardless of the rules, by taking trowel and seedbomb in hand to go guerrilla gardening. More and more people are targeting plots of land they regard as abandoned or neglected for a spot of illicit horticulture.
Roundabouts and lay-bys, parks and pavements, wastelands and building sites are sprouting flowers, trees and vegetables. The green-fingered guerrillas come from a variety of backgrounds and garden from a variety of motives. For some, it's the joy of making a barren space bloom again, for others it's about neighbourhood renewal and the chance to rebuild a community. Others use plants for political statements.
And it's a modern movement with ancient roots. Some guerrilla gardeners hark back to the activities of the Diggers at the time of the Civil War when attempts by groups of people to occupy land and build a community of growers brought them into conflict with the authorities.
Today's guerrilla gardeners also run the risk of falling foul of the law; to what extent are they prepared to face down the threat of charges of trespass or criminal damage? By what right do they target public or private land, how far are they prepared to take their hardcore horticulturalism -and what do the owners and authorities make of their activities?
Toby meets varied and variegated guerrilla gardeners up and down the country to discover what they do, why they do it and asks whether their activities are anti-social or something the so-called "Big Society" could emulate.
Presenter: Toby Amies
Producer: Mike Greenwood
A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.