Problems surrounding the back lanes between the rows of terraced housing around the ward frequently fill my inbox. But with a little bit of care and attention, they can be transformed.
Love Your Lane is a new initiative I’ve been working on with local people who recognise that changing perceptions of our back lanes is really important. In some areas there has been a creeping carelessness, with bins left out in the lane all week and items of loose rubbish dumped and abandoned to the elements. A minority of residents seem to have developed the idea that the back lanes are a sort of “no mans land” where its OK to create mess as somebody else will deal with it.
By bringing colour, care and community spirit to the back lanes the residents involved in Love Your Lane are helping to show that the back of our houses are just as important as the front. Inspiration has been taken from other parts of the country where back lanes have been transformed into gardens and children’s play areas. There’s really no reason why that can’t happen here in North Shields too, the only barrier is imagination!
Joining Love Your Lane is coordinated via a Facebook group that anyone can join. Neighbours are encouarged to have a natter with one another about doing something creative using their back wall and gate as a ‘canvas’. Planters are becoming very popular, along with coordinated colour schemes and even ceramic number tiles. Sharing photos to inspire others is important too.
Why not have a chat to your neighbours about getting involved? Who knows, in time we might even be able to hold a “Best Loved Lane” contest?!