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Fergus Wilson gives £5,000 to help tackle pollution in Wateringbury

Residents and motorists in Wateringbury could soon be breathing a little easier thanks to a green wall initiative.

The idea is the brainchild of Cllr Sarah Hudson, elected as ward councillor for the village last May, and is being supported by Wateringbury Parish Council and the Friends of Wateringbury.

Wateringbury Village Hall and, inset, the air quality monitor (29798933)
Wateringbury Village Hall and, inset, the air quality monitor (29798933)

A green wall will be created covering seven square metres of the wall outside the village hall bordering Bow Road. The hall is situated right on the busy crossroads on the A26 Tonbridge Road at the centre of the village.

The location is a hot spot for air pollution as there are always cars waiting in one direction or another for the traffic lights to change.

Cllr Hudson said: "The wall will be created using modular units made from recycled plastic provided by Treebox. These will be filled with plants that help to absorb pollution."

In addition there will be two small flower beds planted.

Cllr Hudson said: "It's very much a community effort with everybody helping. It's given us all a common purpose."

Sarah Hudson
Sarah Hudson

A sprinkler system will be laid on from the adjacent village hall.

The village is currently monitored as an Air Quality Management Area by Tonbridge and Malling council after it was found to have nitrogen dioxide levels exceeding permitted guidelines.

Cllr Hudson (Con) said: "The air quality monitor is on the side of the village hall, so hopefully, as time goes on, we will be able to see the reduction in pollution achieved by the living wall."

If all goes well, the wall be ready for an official "opening" ceremony which will be performed by Tonbridge and Malling council leader Cllr Nicolas Heslop on Friday, May 8, which this year will be a Bank Holiday to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

On the day, residents will be invited to sponsor a plant - and be responsible for its replacement in future if need be.

The project has only been made possible because of a generous gift of £5,000 by Maidstone property lettings millionaire Fergus Wilson.

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