The London Underground’s adorable ‘Tiny Parks’ and where to find them

0


If you regularly travel to St James’ Park, Belsize Park, Wood Green or Kilburn Park, you might have noticed something before the barriers. A burst of green, erupting from a disused ticket booth. The fat, cabbage-like leaves of the Echeveria succulent, say, or the green and yellow tendrils of a Snake Plant.

These are London’s “Tiny Parks”, transforming former ticket office windows at Tube stations into pockets of greenery. There are nine in total across the London Underground network, located at appropriately-named stations. There are two at St James’ Park, one at Belsize Park and three at both Wood Green and Kilburn Park.

READ MORE: The best weekend walk in London that’ll make you feel like you’re actually in the countryside

The Tiny Parks have been around since 2016, when they were introduced by landscape and spatial design studio The Edible Bus Stop, in conjunction with TfL.

According to The Edible Bus Stop, who advocate for free, accessible local spaces in which people can mix, the Tiny Parks “help bridge the gap between employees, passengers and to create a journey from the mundane to the delightful.”

They were installed, as they put it on their website, in order to “have a significant positive impact on those that live, work and play in that space. It seems that even a glimpse of these little gardens can bring smiles to faces. Something to surprise and delight in a most unusual setting.”



A ‘Tiny Parks’ installation is seen in a disused ticket office at Kilburn Park underground station on February 19, 2020 in London, England

The Edible Bus Stop point to the fact that, in a world where most urban dwellers spend 80 per cent of their time indoors, greenery improves our mental and physical wellbeing. And they have a point. According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), indoor plants can improve our moods, reduce stress, lower blood pressure and reduce fatigue and headaches. Adding plants to office environments, meanwhile, has been shown to boost productivity.

The nine miniature parks are looked after by station staff – in Wood Green, a staff member themes the units to the seasons – and have been refreshed by The Edible Bus Stop since their introduction. St James’ Park was the most recent to have a makeover, gaining some new succulents in October 2021. The aim, according to organisers, is to choose recognisable plants, inspiring admirers to get one of their own.

“[The Tiny Parks] remain ever popular with the staff and passengers,” wrote The Edible Bus Stop. “We believe this is a combination of their being a surprise to find in a former ticket office window, and their tinyness makes them even more charming.”

It seems that commuters agree. One fan wrote on Twitter: “The TfL #TinyParks are such a cool idea. I love the quirks of London.”

Mak Gilchrist, the Founder and Creative Director of The Edible Bus Stop, recently paid a visit to the Tiny Parks in St James’ Park. She was pleased to see that they were thriving – and that a small dinosaur had made its home in one of them.

“Chatting to the station staff at the barrier, they spoke of how well-received these tiny portals of greenery are with passengers. The units raise smiles with commuters and tourists alike. They’re also popular with the staff at the stations they feature in,” says Mak.

She adds: “I love how the staff interact with and personalise them. The units in Wood Green station regularly get little additions to discover. Hats off to the staff member responsible for making the handmade signs thanking the NHS and painted pebbles wishing ‘Love’. In Belsize Park, there’s a beautiful bamboo grasshopper and now the dinosaur in St James’. It’s brilliant – I never know what to expect!”

Luckily, The Edible Bus Stop have plans to introduce more Tiny Parks to the Underground network this year – coming, perhaps, to a station near you.

Do you have a story you think we should be covering? If so, please email [email protected]

Want more from MyLondon? Sign up for our daily newsletters for all the latest and greatest from across London here.





Source link

Denial of responsibility! Planetconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment