Guerrilla Groundsman

This article was published in 2016, in Newsletter 128.

2 August 2016

At our August monthly meeting we welcomed the Guerrilla Groundsman to talk to us about his ‘random acts of tidying’ in Cambridge. He spoke about the projects he has been doing around Cambridge for the last year and a half, repairing and improving the public realm. Examples given included:

  • repairing and repainting signage, including the ‘No Motor Vehicles’ sign at the bottom of the Elizabeth Way bridge which was no longer readable
  • cutting back overgrown shrubbery, including at the Mere Way Underpass, revealing the path that had been almost entirely covered
  • replacing missing slats on a bench outside the Botanic Garden
  • painting over graffiti on the utilities cabinet in Milton Road underpass, and digging up weeds and planting new bee-friendly plants in the underpass
  • repainting damaged stripes on the Sustrans DNA cycleway, using a print-out of the BRCA2 genome to fill in gaps where colours had entirely disappeared!

The emphasis has been on small-scale projects which are likely to be beneath the radar of the councils to fix. It has been a learning process: some repairs have not lasted, some plants have not become established, and matching wood stain and paint to existing worn surfaces has been a challenge. However, we appreciate his efforts and thank Guerrilla Groundsman both for his time to improve the city, and for attending our meeting to talk to us

Hester Wells