Roman Road Trust met with Queen Mary University of London’s Geography school to discuss ways that the university could collaborate with the community on local environmental and sustainability projects.
The meeting was chaired by Prof. Alastair Owens (Head of Dept. of Geography), Prof. Alison Blunt, and Dr Olivia Sheringham. Representatives from local community groups also attended such as Lizzy Mace (chair of Cranbrook Community Food Garden) and Tunde Morakinyo (chair of Friends of Meath Gardens.)
Discussions began around what green and/or environmental projects were already underway in Roman Road. Notably was the recent revelation of a new plaque in Meath Gardens to commemorate the death and burial of King Cole (an indigenous Australian Cricketer.) The success of Cranbrook Community Food Garden and Edible Bow’s projects were also raised. Both are community-led projects aiming to bring together local residents to help cultivate and enjoy green spaces together. It was also highlighted that QMUL’s campus is not only situated adjacent to the Regent’s Canal but is also home to a Jewish Cemetery that is close to Meath Gardens.
Conversations moved to discuss plans for the future. Roman Road Trust put forward ideas for a Plastic Free City campaign which would aim to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags and plastic packaging produced by businesses in Roman Road. This idea was well received with the suggestion to begin the process by involving first year undergraduate Geography students in a fieldwork project to research the current usage of plastic in our high street.
Secondly, there were discussions to begin enquiries into re-opening the underpass beneath the railway arches to connect QMUL directly to Meath Gardens and into Globe Town (Roman Road West.) QMUL Geography Department expressed concerns over security. However, all agreed on the advantages of having direct, easy access to a vast green space. Not only would this provide students with an outdoor place of study and relaxation but would also provide direct access to Roman Road West – both encouraging footfall and providing part-time work opportunities for students.
The meeting concluded with plans to begin preparations to recruit upcoming undergraduate Geography students to help contact an audit of Roman Road to assess the use of single-use plastic in local businesses.
Roman Road Trust would like to say thank you to QMUL’s Geography Department for hosting the meeting and thanks to Friends of Meath Gardens and Cranbrook Community Food Garden for attending and representing the green spaces of Roman Road West.