Thursday, 19 February 2015

Cherry Blossom Comes to Shepherd's Bush! --- Thanks to Our Local Council, and Councillors

Could Shepherd's Bush look like this? Photo: Wikipedia

National politics can be a frustrating business; your individual vote doesn't count for much and nothing really ever seems to change.  But locally, it is possible to make a difference.  Recently our Residents' Association won a small victory when we managed to persuade the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to plant some new cherry trees in our street.  A small thing, you might think, but flowering Prunus Pandora will greatly brighten up our corner of the Bush, especially in Spring.

I grew up in Notting Hill, and one of the loveliest things about the winding Victorian streets between Noting Hill Gate and Kensington High Street is the cherry blossom in Spring - the whole neighbourhood becomes a riot of different shades of pink. 

Imagine you're in Tokyo. Wikimedia Commons
In 2002 I spent six months working in Tokyo, where the appreciation of cherry blossom in spring has an almost religious fervour.  

And yes, the parks are pretty, but as far as I could see there is more cherry blossom in Kensington than there is in Tokyo.

Back in the Bush, not everyone on our neighbourhood wanted new trees. Some residents say they attract litter and dog mess, others worry about birds nesting in them and pooing on their cars. 

But the great majority were in favour, and the Council responded positively to our request for fresh planting.  It took a while, and the wheels of government move slowly, but our patience was rewarded in the end.
Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler

The Macfarlane Road and Hopgood St Residents' Association would like to thank Mark Waters of the tree planting team at the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham for making it happen.  

We also thank former councillor Matt Thorley, and former Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler, both of whom actively supported our efforts to brighten up this corner of the Bush, not only on this but also with regard to other local issues, even though neither of them represented our ward.  

Both were voted out of office in the local elections of May 2014.

The Bush Telegraph offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. Read about the Campaign to Save Hammersmith Park, find out about our new Farmer's Market, see what's on at The Bush Theatre,  find out the latest news on the future of Shepherd's Bush Market,  and the Council's plans to upgrade the Goldhawk Road and the Uxbridge Road.  Also read about free stuff to do in The Bush. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at

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