The Nature’s Gym volunteers spent two weeks at a homeless shelter run by SHP to help them ‘green up’ their garden and make it more wildlife friendly. SHP were lucky enough to win some funding from the Blackheath Ward Assembly to help them buy the materials and plants for their project, but they asked if Nature’ Gym could help them with the planting, building and clearing. We were happy to help and so got to work!
One of the first things we did was to clear the ivy and other overgrown vegetation from the Anderson Shelter which is in the garden. One of our volunteers remembers using his when he was little!
We planted whips, built a bug hotel, put up and bird filter and with help from the guys at Glendale, built some raised beds. It is hoped that some of the residents will look after the raised beds and learn how to grow and cook their own vegetables.
SHP kindly thanked us for our work with a pizza and we all ate it while watching Great tits using the bird feeder we had only put up an hour before!
The April-June 2017 Nature’s programme is now available. There are plenty of exciting projects over the next few months, including the 3 Rivers Clean Up. As always, booking is essential for these sessions. If you are new to Nature’s Gym, take a look through our FAQ and How to Get Involved pages for more information. If there is anything that you are still unsure of, please feel free to email us any questions.
The first 3RCU took place in 2008 with the main aim to control the growth of Himalayan Balsam along the rivers. Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native plant that spreads quickly, clogging up river banks and reducing biodiversity. It shades and crowds native species and causes riverbank erosion, leading to an increase in the risk of flooding.
Now in its ninth year the 3RCU has largely brought the Himalayan Balsam under control. This success has given partners more time to focus on other activities to restore rivers to attract wildlife. It has also allowed volunteers the chance to discover, learn about and enjoy their rivers, and to take pride and ownership of them.
The project now has a new blog with lots of information about the project and how you can get involved. We would love to see you at one of our events, so keep an eye out of the next few weeks for more details about exact dates and locations.
In the meantime there are a number of ways in which you can contact the 3 Rivers Clean Up partnership. For individual organisations involved please see the Partners Page. Alternatively you can email the organising team, visit their Facebook page or even send them a tweet.