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Gardens in the squares

Garden access policy – revised by Trinity House/Capita in October 2016

Acees changed to an electronic fob system, offering the opportunity to access the gardens to the wider residential community of Trinity Village.

Residents can apply for one fob per household and are required to sign a seven-page licence. For assured shorthold, assured and regulated tenants of Trinity House, access will continue to be granted without charge.

For long leasehold and freehold owners within Trinity Village there will be an annual fee of £100. For properties which are sublet, completion of the licence and payment must be carried out by the long leaseholder/freeholder. The charge of £100 may be refunded at year end for six "designated gardeners” with a record of voluntary work in the two gardens. Long leaseholders and freehold owners should email shaun.roberts@knightfrank.com if they are interested in receiving a fob.

TNRA advice on using the gardens in the squares

Until 1994 no one was allowed into the gardens in Merrick Square and Trinity Church Square. After many years lobbying from TNRA, residents were given access to the gardens. Entry to the gardens is a privilege which is enjoyed by many of us. It would be possible for Trinity House to withdraw the privilege if it is abused.

It is not TNRA’s responsibility to police the use of the two gardens but we give the following advice (based on the rules in the licence which you signed when collecting your entry fob), so that we can all continue to enjoy them.

1. According to the rules, residents can use the gardens with ‘members of their families who are resident with them and friends or relatives accompanied by them’. If you invite family or friends into the gardens:
• make sure that they all understand and follow the rules (see below);
• be aware of other people in the garden and do not spoil their enjoyment by taking up too much room;
• do not make a lot of noise and disturb other users or residents in the surrounding square.

2. Keep the gates closed while you are in the garden and when you leave, so that only people with a fob can enter. Leave the garden by 10 pm and close the gate.

3. According to the rules, the following are not allowed in the gardens:
• dogs
• bicycles
• barbecues and bonfires
• games creating noise or nuisance
• picking flowers, treading on flower beds, climbing trees or statues.
Make sure that you and your guests follow these rules.

4. If you have a picnic in the garden, take away and dispose of all the rubbish that you have created.

TNRA is sometimes asked to give permission for people to hold events in the gardens. Please note that this permission can only be given by Knight Frank for Trinity House. Hiring equipment from TNRA does not mean that TNRA sanctions any event or activity.

Garden management

After years of lobbying by TNRA, in July 2015 Trinity House appointed Greenmantle to manage the green spaces in Trinity Village – see www.themastergardeners.co.uk for more information. They have been engaged to manage the gardens/beds of Trinity Church Square, Merrick Square, Gloucester Court, Swan Street and the south side of Trinity Street. They will also be consulted regarding the design and landscaping of rear gardens. On 30 June 2015, representatives of TNRA met with Steve Blazeby, a Commercial Manager at Greenmantle, to discuss the continued involvement of residents in the maintenance of our gardens. We were encouraged by his offer to include input from residents in the work instructions provided to the gardening team and to procure materials and lend gardening equipment to support our action days.

Background

The gardens in the squares have been open to residents since 1994 (Merrick Square) and 1997 (Trinity Church Square) and have been well used. Use of TCS garden has increased since the closure of Trinity Street to through traffic. Since 1998 TNRA has taken part in the London-wide Open Garden Squares Weekend in June, opening first just Merrick Square garden and since 2007 both gardens on the Sunday of the weekend.

Originally laid out in the 19th century, the gardens were redesigned and replanted in 2000 in accordance with designs drawn up by the Museum of Garden History (now the Garden Museum). In 2010, TNRA became concerned that the condition of the gardens had declined and we commissioned a report to assess this. We discussed the gardens with Trinity House and the managing agents. 

Garden action days

Since 2011 TNRA has organised a number of action days in Trinity Square Garden when local volunteers have worked under the supervision of Penny Hinves, former TNRA Vice Chair and garden designer, who is a Chelsea Silver Medal Winner. This has improved the garden by weeding, composting, the planting of shrubs and ground cover and the planting of several thousand bulbs. Volunteers have cleared and tidied the gardens before they have been opened to the public at Open Garden Squares Weekend in June each year.

"No dogs" signs

In 2014 several dog owners had been exercising their pets by setting them free in the garden.  At TNRA's suggestion, Capita put a "No dogs" sign on the gates of both gardens to discourage this practice.

 

TCS garden Dec 2011Volunteers weeding, planting, fertilising and watering TCS garden in the last of the sunshine in December 2011.