A CLEVER year of Making Space for Nature
As 2019 drew to a close, at Making Space for Nature we reflected on the great steps forward we have taken in making Thamesmead a greener and happier place. We are proud to have worked with the whole community to discuss how to transform Thamesmead into a more vibrant place. We are prouder still of how many residents joined us to make this possible.
From large scale events such as the Thamesmead Festival to smaller gatherings like the Harvest Cooking Workshop, we braved the weather, rain or shine, to engage with residents. The Maran Way community BBQ was a particularly special day. 125 members of the community came together to enjoy food, live music and games on a glorious day in September and we had more than 100 different suggestions for the future of open green spaces.
Last year was an inspiring year of friendships and partnerships in Thamesmead. We joined forces with The Ridgeway Users Group, the Women’s Lounge and Thames 21 to name a few. Collaboration on this journey is vital in order to improve health and well-being, reduce physical and mental stress and generate a sense of community pride in Thamesmead. These relationships are cherished.
Building a stronger and better-connected community is at the centre of Making Space for Nature, and the creation of the Nature Forum is one way of achieving this. The Forum is a regular gathering of local people with an interest in nature and the landscape. So far, we have worked together to set out a wonderful vision. We have identified a series of practical goals to address issues such as waste management and recycling and showcased the incredible nature Thamesmead has to offer. For example, we have brainstormed the first steps of getting the Crossway Park Orchard to return to production.
Major changes to the green spaces of Thamesmead are underway, such as the Southmere Lake improvements, which include making it cleaner, greener and more sustainable by introducing reed beds and fishing platforms, as well as creating wetlands to attract all sorts of different wildlife to the lake. Southmere and Parkview Estates are receiving new green spaces and our Gardener in Residence, Kat, is at the ready to equip residents with the tools and skills to make these spaces their own.
There will be many more opportunities for residents to help shape the future of Thamesmead in 2020, and we look forward to meeting more of the community next year.
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Find out more about Making Space for Nature.
Making Space for Nature is part of the European Union’s CLEVER Cities initiative, funded by the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. CLEVER Cities is being led by four partners: the Greater London Authority; Peabody; community charity, Groundwork London, and advisory and financing firm, Social Finance.