Lamppost transformed into Smart Living Pillar in Twyford

A lamppost in Twyford has been transformed with a host of plants as part of a project to encourage biodiversity and trap pollutants.

The Smart Living Pillar, located outside the Twyford United Reformed Church (URC) near the Twyford crossroads, has been retrofitted around an existing lamppost and includes an irrigation system driven by solar energy, which ensures no water is wasted, and a bird box and bug box.

The project, which was borne from Twyford Together’s aim to find a ‘green solution’ to the issue of pollution at the crossroads, is being funded by the David Brownlow Charitable Foundation (DBCF).

Project supporters include former Prime Minister Theresa May and leader of Wokingham Borough Council, Cllr John Halsall.

Alexander Barfield, chief executive at DBCF and Twyford Together volunteer said: “The project really started because there was always calls for some sort of green solution as there’s a problem at the Twyford crossroads.

“There’s not a lot you can do, you can’t really change the road layout. There’s lots of cars that sit there idling and the council put up signs saying please switch off your engine, and part of the community group I’m part of, Twyford Together, thought we could do something, we thought about the original idea.

“There’s no appropriate space to put a living wall anywhere near the crossroads, so I thought ‘why not think about something different?

“So at the David Brownlow Charitable Foundation, we are engaged with a company called Scotscape and looked at these living lampposts.”

He added: “It’s very much a result of the need for a solution.”

Alexander added that the unique pillar is the first public living lamppost outside of London. It is the first of of ‘five or six’ that are planned for the village.

He said: “I think it’s absolutely fantastic. I think it could be a solution in a lot of locations where there is environmental problems.

“It’s really exciting and innovative and it’s a way forward at the end of the day, we’re all looking for solutions.

“We’re all looking for a way to try and improve the environment of which we are in and if this goes some way to improving that, then that’s all to the good.”

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