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tyler closecommunity project
Introducing the Tyler Close Community Project

Tyler Close

Residents of Tyler Close have started a community project to renovate and improve one of the neglected central reservations in Tyler Close.

We are enhancing and improving this area by replacing an ancient and dying cypress tree, setting up a small community picnic area with picnic tables that will create a hub for hosting community activities, planting spring bulbs and wildflowers and most of all encouraging and supporting a strong sense of community and neighbourliness.

We found ourselves coming together back in April this year to discuss the fate of the very old sprawling cypress tree in the middle of the central reservation. Dan Kemsley, the County Tree Inspector advised its removal because it was unsafe. This central reservation has been in a fairly dilapidated and neglected state for some time. It is filled in with many laurel bushes, some box, many weeds and dumped material. Maintenance has been fairly minimal by SERCO.

As a community, we did not want this area to deteriorate any further and wanted to enhance the site. We don't want to lose the pleasure the old tree provided visually, as well as shelter for a wide variety of birds. The removal of the cypress has left a massive space, even with the eventual replacement tree. One neighbour suggested the possibility of a picnic table which residents could use to sit outside in the Close to enjoy our sense of community and further enhance our neighbourliness.
tree felling This area will create a small community meeting place for our elderly residents, adults and children. Working on this project is bringing together neighbours who have in the past merely said 'Hello'; we have got to know each other better. Goodwill has been shown in abundance. A rock breaking crew worthy of Alcatraz, formed to deal with dumped concrete debris, was surpassed only by the appearance of a resident's friend with a pneumatic drill who demolished the huge concrete mound that had defied all efforts from the rock breakers! A massive amount of ground clearing has been done already.

Two recycled picnic tables from Toddlers’ Cove have been obtained thanks to the generosity of Canterbury City Council. We are obtaining estimates for their installation. An area needs to be levelled for this, plus, the tables are extremely heavy and will be difficult to manoeuvre into place. We will then sand and paint them.

We have applied for a grant from Graham Gibbens, the KCC councillor for our area. Costs include the purchase and maintenance for one year of a replacement tree, ground works and concrete for fixing, sandpaper, brushes, Sadolin for the wood and paint for the metalwork. We have sought and received superb advice and help from the Chair of the St Stephen's Residents’ Association, Sue Langdown. We have plans with her help to plant out areas with spring bulbs and wildflowers.

This small community project is bringing together friendly and supportive co-operation within the Close and we hope will be a contribution to next year’s Residents’ Association Canterbury in Bloom.
Jenny Day and Laura Jowers
Tyler Close Community Project
September 2015
Tyler Close
Further progress was reported in the Kentish Gazette on May 12th 2016
Residents transform derelict plot
Tyler Close workersA neglected plot of land in Canterbury has been transformed by residents into a picturesque community space complete with picnic tables. Volunteers first got to work several months ago on the eyesore site in Tyler Close and set about removing a sprawling old and unsafe Cyprus tree. They also cleared away rubble, concrete and weeds, levelled the ground and have now replaced the tree with a new sapling.
The residents had help and advice from the chairman of St Stephen's Residents Association, Sue Langdown, and a grant towards the project from county councillor Graham Gibbens. Recycled picnic tables, donated by the city council have been sanded, treated and installed and there is an ongoing planting project with spring bulbs, forget-me-knots, wild garlic and violas and wild flowers, as well as a Bramley apple trees donated by the Kent Men of Trees. Volunteer Jenny Day said: "It brought together people of all ages and is helping to develop a strong sense of community co-operation and pride in the local environment". On Sunday, they gathered to celebrated the work completed so far and enjoy coffee, tea and cakes.