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RHS flower show crime prevention garden leaves a lasting legacy

The Secured by Design (SBD) crime prevention garden that proved such a hit at this year’s Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is leaving a lasting legacy on the local community.

Plants from the garden have been donated to two local community groups and a local primary school to enhance the green and open spaces around their area.

Designer Lucy Glover organised the relocation in conjunction with her husband Simon Owens, whose company, Laing O’Rourke, provided the transport and manpower to relocate and replant the plants at three community sites they work with as part of the Thames Tideway project along the river.

The three beneficiaries of the donations are:

- R.O.S.E Community Clubroom in Battersea, a community hub for a number of resident groups close to the Tideway Battersea site. The centre is used for community events, arts & craft workshops, training, Brownies & residents meetings. The club also hosts a gardening club, who will do the planting and care for the plants.

- World End-Lots Road Big Local in Chelsea, a community partnership aimed at achieving significant improvements in the area in respect of Jobs, Training & Enterprise, Young People, Community Events & Activities and Green & Open Spaces in The World’s End estate area. The estate includes a sheltered housing unit, and an over 50s facility. The estate also has the Chelsea Muslim Community Centre, a Salvation Army church, and commercial storage facilities. The estate’s immediate surroundings include Ashburnham primary school, the Chelsea Theatre, St John’s Church, a neighbourhood advice centre, an Under 5s Centre, a youth club and several retail outlets.

Lucy Glover, one of the garden designers, said: “I am very happy to see the plants from Hampton Court giving such pleasure to communities just a few miles along the river from Hampton Court, and look forward to seeing how this legacy improves their environment going forward”.

Garden designer Jacqueline Poll said: “I am so pleased that the beautiful planting from our Hampton Court Show garden is being relocated to community projects and a school in the local area. I hope these plants will enhance the gardens and bring enjoyment to many people for the long term”.

Sergeant David Lucy from the Met Police said: “This is a wonderful legacy for this project, benefiting our communities in London”.

Secured by Design’s Lyn Poole said: “"We are very pleased at Secured by Design to know that the plants and trees that we helped fund for the Secured by Design garden at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show are going to be enjoyed and tended to by people in local community projects and a primary school. We hope that they bring joy to the children and enhance the open spaces however big or small".

The SBD crime prevention garden, which incorporated proven techniques to deter opportunistic burglars, was created by two students at Capel Manor College’s School of Garden Design and Plantsmanship in Enfield, after they won a competition sponsored by SBD and run in close collaboration with the Met Police Designing Out Crime Team in North East London and the College. The two students, Lucy Glover and Jacqueline Poll, won the competition whilst in the final year of their foundation degree course in garden design at Capel Manor College.

They were given four weeks to design their city or urban garden, which could be for a front or rear garden and should ‘provide an enjoyable and safe space, which has well protected boundaries, preventing easy access to the rear and protects everything within’.

The garden was visited by thousands of visitors during the prestigious show. As well as members of public, many famous faces dropped in on the garden, including television personality, gardener, poet and novelist Alan Tichmarsh, gardening writer and television broadcaster Peter Seabrook MBE, and gardener, garden designer, best-selling author, columnist and presenter on BBC Gardeners' World Nick Bailey.

The garden had many techniques incorporated into it to deter opportunistic burglars – and these techniques can be used in any front or rear garden.

The key security features which made the garden safe, secure and sustainable included prickly plants, such as pyracantha or climbing roses, to protect windows, fencing and drainpipes; and fixed concrete benches topped with wood panels so they can’t be repositioned to access windows.

The garden also featured dawn-to-dusk low voltage lighting; solar globe lights in sandstone finish to provide low level illumination at night as well as sculptural interest to borders; and a pergola with a roof made of round poles with lose fitting wrap-around metal tubes to discourage climbing.

Other measures included gravel paths to hear the crunch of approaching footsteps; and a secure shed, topped with a green defensive planted roof, with items inside like bicycles and gardening tools marked with Smartwater Forensic traceable liquids to identify them if stolen.

Ring Spotlight Cams- battery/solar powered wifi HD CCTV camera – were included in order that the garden can be checked from anywhere using a smartphone.

Discussing garden security on BBC2’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show programme last week, gardener, garden designer, best-selling author, columnist and BBC Gardeners' World presenter Nick Bailey said “We all want our gardens to be safe spaces, but it may surprise you to know that 75% of burglaries occur via the rear garden”.

Commenting on the “great physical barrier” and “clever ideas” contained in the garden, Nick concluded that “I think you have done a brilliant job of being able to integrate what is beautiful, very subtle planting, with this fantastic security idea”.

Lucy Glover: Lucy has just completed the Royal Horticultural Society accredited Foundation Degree in Garden Design and Plantsmanship at Capel Manor College.

Jacqueline Poll: Jacqueline has just completed the Royal Horticultural Society accredited Foundation Degree in Garden Design and Plantsmanship at Capel Manor College.

Capel Manor College: Capel Manor College is London’s leading land-based college, offering a wide range of full and part-time courses for young people and adults, including their renowned floristry, garden design and horticulture programs.

Secured by Design: Secured by Design, the national police crime prevention initiative, aim to achieve sustainable reductions in crime through design and other approaches to enable people to live in a safer society.

We have more than 200 SBD trained police officers and staff in Police Forces around the UK. These Designing Out Crime Officers work with architects, developers and local authority planners to build in tried, tested and proven crime prevention techniques at the planning stage to reduce crime and keep communities safe.

SBD seeks to reduce crime by combining minimum standards of physical security like doors, windows and locks that achieve SBD’s Police Preferred Specification standard and proven design principles of the built environment such as natural surveillance and defensible space.

Whilst police are unable to recommend specific products, SBD can act as an effective gatekeeper and signposting service to our 650 member companies and their products, which meet our rigorous Police Preferred Specification standards.

Members’ products range from secure and robust doors, windows and locks through to cutting-edge IT products, CCTV components, and shutters and barriers. SBD is the only way for companies to obtain police accreditation for security products in the UK.