Smallest ever garden at Chelsea Flower Show highlights disparity of green space in west London
The smallest ever garden at Chelsea Flower Show highlights how Kensington and Chelsea’s richest residents have access to 20 times more green space than the most deprived in the borough.
The “worst served” residents in Notting Dale, the ward where the Grenfell tragedy occured and among the most deprived areas in England, each have access to just 42m 2 of combined public parks and gardens within a 1km radius of their home, or within a 12-minute walk.
That’s the equivalent of three parking bays.
In comparison, each person living in the worst served area of nearby Queen’s Gate has access to an average combined public park space of 850m 2, around 20 times more than Notting Dale residents, or the equivalent of 65 parking bays.
A 4.2m2 exhibit, titled The Green Gap, is a 1:10 scale representation of the limited green space available to the most deprived in the borough, designed by non-profit group Grow2Know.
The group was established in Notting Dale in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.
It’s the smallest show garden ever seen at the flower show and showcases local plants and weeds of the Notting Dale area, including Dandelion, Thyme and Chamomile.
Founder of Grow2Know Tayshan Hayden-Smith said: “The meagre 4.2m 2 build signifies the amount of green space available to one of the most deprived wards in RBKC – a visual representation of the stark reality of inequality within the borough.
“As an organisation that strongly believes everyone should have equal access to green space, we are dedicated to driving and inspiring change, and we’ll make it our mission to make gardening more inclusive and naturally accessible to all through ongoing community driven gardening projects and education.”
Data obtained by urban planning and design practice, Prior + Partners, shows that Notting Dale is within the worst 20 per cent of the most deprived areas in England, compared with Queen’s Gate which is among the least deprived in England.
The green space disparity is also having an effect on public health systems, as Prior + Partners research reveals that frequent personal use of parks or green space is estimated to save the NHS at least £100m a year from fewer visits to the doctor.
Analysis found that on average, Notting Dale men are expected to live nine years less than men living in Queen’s Gate, with women expected to live four years less.
Strikingly, on average, men in Notting Dale are expected to live in a state of ‘good’ general health 18 years fewer than men in Queen’s Gate.
Women in Notting Dale are expected to live in ‘good’ general health 16 years less.
The Green Gap will be exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show from May 22 to 26.