We would like to take an old disused allotment site & turn it into a nature reserve & education centre. We plan to clear rubble, reinstate the pond, provide trails around the site. We'll encourage native plants, & manage for native wildlife. We want to install a storage area for our equipment and teaching facilities, bird feeders & houses, bat & bug homes, hedgehog homes, habitat features for frogs, toads, newts & reptiles such as slow worms. We want to plant native & ornamental flowers to help pollinators, & install log piles for rare stag beetles. We would like to install hides so people can come and observe the wildlife, take photos and learn about the wonders of the natural world. We would encourage citizen science by hosting bioblitzes as a chance for the community to help us record species for organizations like Greenspace Information for Greater London, Bat Conservation Trust, London Wildlife Trust, RSPB. We could also host schools and scouts groups & have community open days.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Green space is under continued threat from developers all over the borough. Transforming this space into an educational nature reserve provides a vital space for children and adults to learn about and appreciate nature and it also helps save it from development. It will help people to get outside and exercise, volunteer in the community, develop an appreciation of nature and wildlife, and teach future generations to conserve and protect the environment. People can learn about the life cycle of a pond, why insects are so important for the ecosystem, how to identify birds and attract them into their own gardens, and how to protect declining species like hedgehogs. Being out in nature is also calming and relaxing and has been shown to have many health benefits. It can boost mood, calm anxiety, lower blood pressure, ease stress, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. It also has many mental benefits such as improved memory, increased attention span & social cohesion
Steps to get it done:
This project is a long term one which will protect green space for generations. EWG are lacking a physical space to call our own, to store our equipment & supplies, to act as a hub for our activities & outreach. As well as being our physical hub, the development of the space as a fine example of conservation in action in the centre of an ethnically & culturally diverse community such as Greenford will be documented on our website, YouTube channel & various social media channels. We hope it will be a shining example of establishing a nature reserve for biodiversity, environment & community benefit through the power of community volunteering & collaboration with our local Council. We'll be carrying out detailed biodiversity surveys before & during the development of the reserve to document what species come to call it home & give locals a sense of pride & ownership in the space, as well as just how important it is to protect these isolated islands of green in our urban landscapes.
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