We are a group of 40 Young Farmers aged 8-13 who come to the Farm each week to look after the animals, grow and cook our own food, conserve wildlife habitats and learn rural crafts. Your funds will help us renovate the wildlife garden so that nature can thrive, visitors can connect with nature and improve their well being. We are the caretakers of this special garden and have been planning this restoration project. The garden will become a ‘leave no trace’ space, allowing the many species of birds, insects, invertebrates, amphibians and plant life to live undisturbed, minimising the negative impact people can have on wild spaces (e.g. throwing things in the pond, walking through undergrowth or littering). We want to encourage visitors to learn from and enjoy the wildlife here according to these principles and will create interactive viewpoints, windows and lead activities to enable observation of wildlife, to learn about habitats and better understand how we can all help nature.
What we'll deliver:
- Replace the broken boundary fencing to make the path around the garden more accessible
- Install new viewpoints at varying heights through the fence into the garden and over the pond
- Develop interactive educational resources to be used by visitors
- Create a new pond dipping area for children to safely explore pond life
- Deliver workshops for people to plant specific native species in the garden to attract pollinators and birds
- Deliver workshops for people to plant mixed native hedgerow to provide food and shelter for wildlife
- Create new seasonal signage for people to learn about the garden
- Provide people with the opportunity to take part in guided tours of the garden
- Provide people with the chance to take part in a bioblitz with an expert, to record nature across the Farm
Why it's a great idea:
We enjoy spending time in our wildlife garden connecting with nature: it helps improve our wellbeing and we would like our visitors to experience these benefits here too. This project will enable people to witness wildlife in action through new windows into the garden and interactive facilities to explore the plant and animal life up close. Seasonal signs will explain life cycles, wildlife species and how people can help wildlife in their own communities. We would like to welcome visitors on guided tours of the garden so that they can see the birds feeding, learn about the habitats we’ve created and the wildlife they are home to. We think that improving the educational facilities and raising the standard of maintenance inside the garden will have the effect of better connecting our visitors to nature and helping wildlife to thrive.
Steps to get it done:
- Construction work - replace fencing, gates and install new pond dipping area (Autumn 2020)
- Site maintenance - pond clean, remove overhanging branches, tree clearing etc (Autumn 2020)
- Planting Workshops - people help plant new wildflower meadow and native hedges
- Bioblitz Workshops - people learn how to ID and record species found on the site
- Interpretation - design and install new interpretation panels and educational resources
The Farm partners with Southwark Council to carry out the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) which is a framework to protect nature and increase biodiversity in the local area. We want to maintain habitats for House Sparrows in the wildlife garden as their populations have declined dramatically in London. House Sparrows currently live in the hedging here - hedges are a valuable conservation feature, providing shelter and food for many small birds. To meet the needs of the BAP, we will create more habitat and food sources for House Sparrows, to make sure their population stays stable by planting 60m of mixed native hedging around the wildlife garden.