Friday, 30 July 2021

‘Living wall’ proposed at library

PLANTS could be used to decorate the outside of Henley library.

PLANTS could be used to decorate the outside of Henley library.

Henley in Bloom is to consider creating a “living wall” at the building in Ravenscroft Road as part of the town’s entry into the Entente Florale Europe competition.

The idea came from Deputy Mayor Jeni Wood who said: “A living green wall is what I personally hope for but we haven’t discussed it at committee.

“For the work to be done it needs approval from the culture and community services department at Oxfordshire County Council.

“We would have to be careful with the choice of plants because the wall is in the shade. We would have to leave it to the experts.”

Councillor Kellie Hinton, who chairs Henley in Bloom, said: “We want to breathe some more life into that area but the type of permission granted by the county council will effect what goes there.

“It could be a living wall, it could be a mural or it could be something to help kids learn about sustainability â?? there are lots of possibilities.”

Town and county councillor David Nimmo Smith said: “I think it’s great idea and a good use of public space.

“We have to make sure we don’t do too much so it’s sympathetic with the surrounding area but I am definitely up for it.”

Councillor Wood suggested that if permission to decorate the library wall was turned down, Henley in Bloom could look to brighten up the exterior of the King’s Road car park toilets instead.

She said: “The toilets are the responsibility of South Oxfordshire District Council, where I can do more as I am a member. Hopefully something on one of the sites will be done by July when the judges visit.”

Cllr Hinton said she hoped the work could be carried out at the same time as a planned clean-up of King’s Road car park next month.

Henley will be representing Britain in Entente Florale Europe, which seeks to improve the quality of life of different communities.

Similar to the Britain in Bloom competition, the contest promotes the “greening” of towns and villages using plants, parks and other outdoor spaces. Entrants from the UK are only allowed to take part once every five years and must have been a finalist in the national Britain in Bloom competition, as Henley has been for the past two years.

The judges will consider aspects such as tourism and public involvement.

Henley was put forward for the competition by Roger Burnett, chairman of the judging panel for the Royal Horticultural Society, which organises Britain in Bloom.

The town will be mentored by Peter Holman, one of two vice-chairmen of Entente Florale Europe and the lead UK judge. He is also chairman of South and South-East in Bloom and vice-chairman of London in Bloom.

• What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley, RG9 1AD or email

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