A New Space with Eco-messages in Wimbledon

The transformation of Hartfield Walk from a bland thoroughfare to a place where you can sit, play, get educated and pick up some delicious treats, came about from the request for more seating in the town centre, a greener environment and something a bit different. Love Wimbledon instigated the reimagining of the space at a time when outside spaces are even more important to us all, and the need to experience something different has grown stronger.

Hartfield Walk will be a space for the local community to stimulate ideas and encourage a shift in mindset towards a more eco-conscious life. Every aspect of the new space has been carefully designed with sustainability as the core focus, from bee-friendly and carbon-capturing plants, to furniture and seating which has been sourced from sustainable/ethical suppliers or been reclaimed, recycled and is biodegradable. New murals and children’s floor games have also developed the environmental language – more details to come!

The project itself was developed in collaboration with Wimbledon-based creative agency Firecracker Works, a majority local team, who have a dedication to sustainability and consideration of the environmental impact of the materials they source and use. The organisation has recently become a member of Isla, a non-profit organisation focused on accelerating and transitioning the events industry towards a sustainable future, and hence offers solutions that are efficient, economical, and sustainable.

Sustainable Materials

The much-needed seating in this space, has been constructed from oak, reclaimed from The Grand Union Canal lock gates. The gates are replaced every 25 years, and in the process, they are dismantled and the metal within is recycled. It is the metal content, bars and pins that create the black and blue tannin staining which you can see present on the seating.

The construction of the kiosks, planters and seating in Hartfield Walk has also seen use of locally sourced and responsibly grown timber and Oriented Strand Board (OSB). The former derives from well-managed forests and/or verified and recycled sources, approved by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), whilst the latter is a material made from waste – large wood shavings that are formed together to produce a sheet material. Plus, the kiosks have been finished with shade-tolerant meadow flowers covering the roof!

Decorating with a Difference

Water-based paints were chosen, where possible, to add a pop of colour to the Harfield Walk furniture. Such paints have a significantly lower environmental impact than traditional solvent-based products, due to their low level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are harmful chemicals carbon-containing substances that vaporize at room temperature and enter the atmosphere. Over time, these chemicals are be released into the air through a process called off-gassing.

Selecting paints that are highly durable, last longer and don’t require repeated cleaning, was also considered, to reduce maintenance cycles and limit the amount of paint used, on aspects such as the kiosks.

Eco-conscious Ambience

Outdoor festoon lighting will help to continue the ambience of Hartfield Walk into the evening. The lights are all LED, which is known to reduce waste as the bulbs rarely require replacing, and are also controlled by light sensors.

Plant Selection

The large variety of plants that can be seen throughout Hartfield Walk, include a range of climbers, bulbs, herbs, shrubs and perennials, species that are powerful in their pollinating properties and have bee-friendly flowers, as well as those which help combat pollution, such as Amelanchier and Betula. These plants can capture and temporarily hold pollutant particles, take up gaseous pollutants and absorb heavy metals from soils. 50% of the plants in Hartfield Walk are also drought tolerant, meaning that they can continue to boost local biodiversity, even in less ideal conditions.

 

Hartfield Walk will be fully open to the public in late March. Check our social media for regular updates.

Remember to Love Wimbledon, Be Local and Love Local.

 

 

Spotlight: Creature Company

Wimbledon is home to a number of small and independent businesses which help to add a sense of character and diversity to our town centre. Lockdown has made us all pay closer attention to our local surroundings, whether it be parks and local hidden gems, or getting to know local business owners and discovering the brilliant products/services that they offer!

We are shining a spotlight on these businesses and giving you an insight into who our local business owners are, what their stories are, what makes them special and why shopping local in Wimbledon Town Centre is vital to community spirit.

And this time it’s Creature Company! The dog groomers and pet shop is run by an eclectic all-female team of local dog lovers, including General Manager Anna de Brito. We caught up with Anna to find out more…

Who are Creature Company and what do you offer?
We are an independent pet shop and dog grooming salon right in the middle of Wimbledon Broadway. Half of the business is our complete dog grooming service, from the full groom and spa treatment, to if a pup just pops in for a quick nail clip. The other side is the store, where we also sell a huge variety of products for dogs including favourite wet, dry and raw foods, popular toy brands, clothing, training and grooming. We also have a large range of products for cats, small animals, fish and both wild and domesticated birds.

How long has Creature Company been based in Wimbledon?
We opened our doors in Wimbledon in 2001 and have been here ever since. We’ve developed a great loyal customer base who regularly bring their dogs in for some grooming, pampering and TLC.

Tell us why it’s important to regularly groom your dog?
It’s important to groom your dog regularly to prevent matting, which leads to tightened skin and discomfort, and to help with de-shedding to get rid of dead hair. Much like with humans at the hairdresser, regular trims and grooming will maintain a healthy coat! When regularly grooming you will also be able to spot any blemishes, hot spots or sore patches, well before your dog is in too much pain. You should also be brushing your dog daily in between grooms, to avoid knots and matting, – this also to help them get used to the grooming experience in a comfortable environment with people they know.

Can you recommend one product from your store, that is a must-have for a dog owner?
The KONG classic is just that – a nifty rubber chew toy with a hollow centre, which you can fill with treats or KONG peanut butter to keep your pet occupied and stimulated.

Name a product that the dogs just can’t get enough of…
Lily’s Kitchen Duck & Venison Sausages – these are a favourite with all our clients, from tiny terriers to Bernese mountain dogs!

We know that you have hundreds of friendly, furry creatures coming through your doors… what’s been your funniest experience with a pooch?
Once I was looking after a dog, who was waiting to be picked up and he slipped on his harness, but every time I tried to get it back on comfortably he inched away so his legs were splayed out as he ran.

How has Creature Company been affected by Covid-19?

As I’m sure is the case for many other local businesses, the pandemic has presented huge difficulty, both for the business and our team. From staff members being furloughed and a huge decrease in customers coming through our doors, to the changing levels of restrictions, this has been a tough year. We have, however, been fortunate enough to be able to continue our grooming services through lockdown and want to thank all of our regular customers who have continued to support us. We would love to remind the people of Wimbledon that we are open and ready to treat your dog’s lockdown locks!

So #LoveLocal and visit Creature Company at 54 The Broadway in Wimbledon Town Centre (between Oddonos Gelati and VPZ).

Shopping local helps support local business and local jobs. Plus you’re shopping greener – less packaging than online purchases and less transport miles. So pop round the corner, find something new in Wimbledon, and support your local independent businesses – including the brilliant Creature Company!

 

Mother’s Day Gifts Guaranteed To Make Her Smile

Looking to make Mother’s Day extra special? Whether you’re shopping for a mother-to-be or showing your appreciation through a heart-warming gift, check out our ideas to add a loving touch to Mother’s Day this year.

Keep Her Entertained

With theatres poised to re-open in June, give a gift that’s a little different this year. Give the gift of emotion, excitement, laughter and joy, by taking the special woman in your life to a show she’ll love. Book tickets in advance for shows returning with a bang at New Wimbledon Theatre, including Heathers The Musical and Footloose.

Smelling, Looking and Feeling Good

Check out Elys Mother’s Day edit for luxury hand cream sets to resurrect dry hands, premium skincare and elegant diffusers. Order for Click & Collect by Wednesday 10th March, for safe pick-up in store on Thursday 11th March (10am – 4pm).

Newly re-opened for Click + Collect, The Fragrance Shop have a variety of perfumes and fragrance mists for all budgets!

Offer some relief to a mother suffering from acute pain, minor injuries, anxiety or depression. Health Zone Wimbledon are continuing to offer massage therapy and reflexology treatments to clients with genuine healthcare needs.

Or think sustainable and give a gift that is kind in nature and to nature, from Wimbledon’s zero waste store – from organic cotton facial pads, shampoo bars, lip balms, conjac sponges and more, from Zéro.

Add a Decorative Touch

Pick up beautiful bouquets from Wimbledon Flower Kiosk – see their wide selection of beautiful flower arrangements and order via their website, or call on 020894684444⁣. If you prefer to go hassle-free (and skip having to remember watering duties) then simply go with one of Partica’s stunning balloon bouquets instead.                                                                                  

For the Mother-To-Be

Treat a mother-to-be with maternity products or great keepsakes from JoJo Maman Bebe, like their Pregnancy Journal. Available for Click & Collect from their Wimbledon store.

Presents From The Pub 

Make sure that Mum doesn’t have to lift a finger and recreate the experience of a pub meal from home, with pre-prepared roasts from The Old Frizzle. Options include a 3-course roast dinner with a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate dessert and prosecco, or a delicious melt-your-own-cheese Raclette boxes 🥂 They all come with simple instructions for you (not mum) to finish at home! Pre-order by midnight Thursday 11th March. Centre Court Shopping Centre are also offering one lucky shopper the chance to win an Ultimate Roast Box for Mother’s Day worth £75 – enter here.

Much-loved local pub The Alexandra are offering exclusive Mother’s Day vouchers from £50 – purchase one and be rewarded with two complimentary Gin & Tonic’s to enjoy when they re-open! Click here to find out more.

Given the current national lockdown due to COVID-19, we are encouraging the people of Wimbledon to continue to support the local economy. Many local stores are still open for Click & Collect, to ensure that they can still serve your needs. Rather than relying on large e-commerce sites, please consider how you could be helping your local, small or independent businesses – they need your support now more than ever to ensure that they can re-open in a stronger position. Contact them and see what they can offer you – from gift cards to local delivery and more.