Local Rewilding Projects Given Support from the Mayor

Schemes on Wimbledon Common and Beverley Brook get grant funding

Queensmere on Wimbledon Common will benefit from the grant. Picture: Ben Brooksbank

March 24, 2023

Two local rewilding projects are to receive funding from the Rewild London Fund which was set up by the Mayor to return nature to the capital.

The announcement was made this Monday (20 March) which is World Rewilding Day.

The Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators (WPCC) are being given support for their efforts in restoring ponds and reedbeds in the Commons wetlands.

Wimbledon and Putney Commons are 1,140 acres of open green space managed and owned by the WPCC. The Commons have a rich array of habitats and are designated an SSSI and a Special Area of Conservation. WPCC is embarking on a major conservation project to improve the ponds and other wetland habitats.

This project will deliver the survey and design phase of restoring Queensmere, one of the Common’s largest ponds which is on Wimbledon Common south of Putney Vale Cemetery. The area is far from reaching its full potential for wildlife and Rewild London Funding will help to design reedbed habitat creation in line with London Environment Strategy targets, ensure the pond and surrounding landscape are more resilient and can support increased biodiversity plus build skills and knowledge for managing the ponds and surrounding habitats.

Barnes Conservation, part of Barnes Common Limited, is also to be given a grant to help improve 1.25km of the Beverley Brook to encourage natural processes along the waterway and improve habitat for insects, fish, bats and birds as well as increasing connectivity between Richmond Park National Nature Reserve and Barnes Common Local Nature Reserve. 

The grants come from the £850,000 fund, delivered by the London Wildlife Trust with commitment from Amazon’s Right Now Climate Fund.

The fund is aiming to give money to projects focusing in and around London’s Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) and the Mayor has committed a further £1mn this year for similar projects.

Sadiq Khan said, “We are now facing dual climate and ecological emergencies worldwide, which further threaten our ability to survive on our planet. Despite the harm inflicted on the natural world, we have the power to make amends, and I am committed to ensuring that London is at the vanguard of efforts to reverse the trends of declining biodiversity and the destruction of nature.

“Rewilding allows nature to take the lead and is an exciting way to create healthier ecosystems and allow humans and wildlife to live together more harmoniously. I’m proud that London is leading the way once again and excited to see what can be achieved with this further £1m of funding. We’re cleaning up our city, re-establishing lost species and reconnecting people and nature as we build a greener, fairer city for all Londoners.”

Mathew Frith, Director of Research and Policy at London Wildlife Trust, Rewild London Fund partner and Rewilding Taskforce member said, “This funding enables an exciting tranche of biodiversity projects to further progress nature’s recovery in the capital. They will help strengthen, enhance and extend the important network of over 1600 Wildlife Sites* that forms the foundations of nature conservation in London, and thereby contribute to a wilder, greener city. “

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