Tower Hamlets calls on residents to help the borough’s biodiversity
Tower Hamlets Council launched new plans to conserve and enhance wildlife in the borough on 1 October, as the Mayor and Cabinet approved the Tower Hamlets Local Biodiversity Action Plan 2014-19. The council called on residents and community groups to help them make the borough a cleaner and greener area.
The new Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) builds on the successes of the last plan, which was adopted in 2009. During those five years, a huge amount was achieved for biodiversity in the borough, including:
- the creation of over six hectares of new wildflower meadows in parks;
- new woodlands in Swedenborg Gardens and on the Manchester Estate;
a new wetland area with four new ponds at Mudchute;
- new ponds in parks, community gardens and schools;
eight new community orchards;
- 500 metres of reed bed and soft banks created along canals;
- floating reed bed in West India Middle Dock.
The new plan sets a number of objectives, including a hectare of new meadows, improving five hectares of woodland, 20 new sites for bat boxes in a range of locations, 500 metres of new hedgerow, and 250 metres of vegetation along the canals and floating islands in the docks.
The council has also called on community groups and residents to help them to achieve their aims and objectives in the plan. Residents can get involved by:
- picking up packets of wildflower seeds and wildlife gardening packs that have been handed out across the borough. So far over 3,000 seeds and 1,000 packs have been distributed;
- taking part in the many biodiversity walks, talks, seminars and community events that are organised;
- grow nectar-rich flowers in their gardens or in window boxes;
- installing bat boxes, bumble bee boxes and nest boxes for house sparrows and other birds in appropriate places on buildings.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman said: “What we know from the past five successful years is that the best way to achieve a greener borough is by working collaboratively with others, including our residents and community groups. We cannot do this without their help and support. With the hard work of our staff and residents, we can grow our green spaces, protect our environment, and make Tower Hamlets one of the most environmentally diverse and innovative parts of London.”
Cllr Shahed Ali, cabinet member for clean and green, said: “This plan shows our continuing commitment to ensuring that Tower Hamlets becomes an even cleaner and more environmentally-friendly borough. It is crucial for us to conserve the environment around us, and it also makes the borough a more colourful and vibrant place to live.”
Header photo: Pond dipping at Mudchute (Justine Aw)