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The Open Council are delighted that the Public Bonsai and Urban Gardening policies are being put into action by Newcastle City Council but we don't want it to stop there. We will be pushing hard for the Public Glockenspiel and Pond Swapping schemes to be given the same recognition.

A word of warning though. In Open Council trials of the Urban Gardening policy some members complained that the public food "didn't taste very good" and that it was "metallic". Unfortunately one patch was vandalized by youths who sprayed silver paint on the vegetable but on balance the trial was a success.

The Open Council would like to wish Newcastle City Council all the best in their 'public gardening' schemes and look forward to hearing more about the ambitious 'edible Heaton' project.

Newcastle City Council Borrow Open Council Policy
Newcastle City Council have announced a new scheme that incorporates elements of Open Council policy. We have been saying for a long time now in our Public Bonsai and Urban Gardening policies that community gardening projects are a great way to get the public to participate and it seems the powers that be in Newcastle City Council agree.
The Open Council 'Public Bonsai' leaflet.

The Open Council Public Bonsai policy leaflet says:

"The Open Council are proposing to install bonsai trees in Byker, Heaton, Fenham, Wallsend and Northumberland Street with more locations to follow. The Public Bonsai’s are a gift from the Open Council to the people and as such it is your responsibility to care for the tree and guide its growth. Each Public Bonsai comes equipped with a set of instructional illustrations, a pair of safety trimmers (attached to the pot) and plastic water container."

Newcastle City Council's announcement appeared in the Citylife magazine:

"Amongst the flowers outside the Grainger Market and on Chillingham Road you could be surprised to find herbs such as dill, coriander and fennel, and vegetables, such as courgettes and tomatoes. And you’ll be actively encouraged to help yourself! A pair of snub-nosed scissors will be chained alongside the herbs to help you."