Boris buys Hackney a Bois de Dalston

DALSTON has a new attraction: a fast-growing wood of birches and other native plants that if you squint a little might remind you of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris (all right, perhaps you have to squint a lot).

Entrance is through the gate at the north end of the mural square opposite Dalston Junction station, the same entrance used for the controversial (not everybody loved it) Dalston Mill project with its field of wheat waving in the wind as it waited to be ground into corn.

The mill was supposedly a work of art by (not the fashion model) produced with the help of, a Parisian outfit  of EXYZT, a Parisian outfit of “experimental architects” (their term). The French are also involved in the garden; money has come from the London Development Authority, part of London Mayor Boris “Biker” Johnson’s empire.

Surprising, then, that no one thought of including a cycle lane to link with the de facto cycle route in  Kingsland Centre car park, saving cyclists the detour via Thyssen Street, and providing a safe route to Dalston Junction. Seems the architects are not that “experimental”.

The garden was low-key launched on Sunday 6 June 2010 during a one-day Dalston Connects festival to celebrate the opening of the East London Line (doesn’t Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe accept that the Ell opened last month?). You can enter le jardin (oh, please!) between 11am and 8pm – but note that it is temporarily closed until Friday 11 June 2010.

Hackney council, which has a good arborocultural record, has made a contribution to beautifying Dalston by planting saplings in the pavement at the southern junction of Dalston Lane and Queensbridge Road.

Pines? Are they native pines? Ecology, anyone?

David Altheer 080610

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

This site welcomes fair comments, including the critical. They may be edited for grammatical, legal or taste reasons, or for shortening. In the unlikely event that anything defamatory is posted, the sender’s details may have to be divulged. (Under UK law, this applies to any comment/discussion forum, eg, Twitter.) RSS feed link is at top right. Twitter: @lovingdalston Publicists, amateur and professional, should read http://bit.ly/ZnClKc Also relevant may be the note at the end of http://bit.ly/117GXmi Photographs © David Altheer unless otherwise stated and apart from supplied pictures

5 thoughts on “Boris buys Hackney a Bois de Dalston

  1. Better than a leyland pine or — shudder — a eucalyptus. I’d hoped for a native of SE England, to fit in best with the birds and local insects that need trees. Still, the Scots pine is obviously British… and a handsome tree.

  2. Trees at Lebon’s Corner are Scots Pine I believe, is that native enough since Scottish devolution?

  3. Quite right, cyclists and pedestrians do not mix, as we shall see when the next stage of the Barratts estate opposite opens with its absurd mixed-use mini-park policy. The answer in both cases would be a clearly marked cycle path, possibly with restrictive borders.

  4. ” … no one thought of including a cycle lane to link with the de facto cycle route in Kingsland Centre car park, saving cyclists the detour via Thyssen Street, and providing a safe route to Dalston Junction … ”

    Maybe because a “safe route for cyclists” (donned up in their helmets, and protective gear and travelling at breakneck speeds, means it is no longer safe for pedestrians!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *