Another fantastic year of work for wildlife in Tower Hamlets!
The Council and Tower Habitats, the Tower Hamlets biodiversity partnership, have published the third annual progress report on the Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP). The report covers the year from October 2016 to September 2017 and can be downloaded here.
The report illustrates the great work to enhance wildlife habitats that has been done in our parks, gardens, water spaces and the built environment. Our numerous partner organisations, including housing associations, charities, community groups and the Council, have completed loads of great projects to create and enhance priority habitats, and provide better habitats for priority species. Some of the highlights include:
- a mobile, temporary therapeutic garden created in the heart of Whitechapel by Core Landscapes;
- a floating planter installed by Thames21 in the Limehouse Cut at Bow Locks;
- 20,000 bee-friendly bulbs and 6000 sunflowers planted by Poplar HARCA on its estates;
- lots more nectar-rich flowers, as well as bird and bat boxes and a hedge, at Approach Gardens;
- wildlife enhancements in the grounds of Stepney Greencoat and Chisenhale Schools, funded by Tower Habitats biodiversity grants from the Tower Hill Trust;
- 70 native trees, including two Black Poplars, planted by the Friends of Meath Gardens to create a woodland strip beside the railway in the extension to Meath Gardens;
- the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park completed a new chalk bank in Ackroyd Drive Green Link;
- the London Legacy Development Corporation installed 200 metres of floating ecosystems, with mixed native wetland vegetation in the Lea Navigation north of the Bow Roundabout;
- new wildflower meadows created by the Lower Regents Coalition by Ben Johnson Lock;
- surveys undertaken by the Biodiversity Officer confirmed the presence of Great Crested Newts at Spitalfields City Farm, but failed to find any Hedgehogs at Mudchute.
The report also shows that planning policies requiring developers to provide biodiversity enhancements are starting to bear fruit. Among a number of references to habitats created in new developments, the stand-out example is Ballymore’s London City Island development on the Leamouth Peninsula. The completed buildings in Phase 1 of this large redevelopment scheme provide over 2600 square metres of biodiverse roofs, as well as nest boxes for Black Redstarts, Swifts and House Martins, while the landscaping includes areas of wildflower meadow and woodland. The river walls have new habitat including an intertidal terrace, an artificial Otter holt and nesting banks for Kingfishers and Sand Martins. Phase 2, due for completion soon, will add a further 6000 square metres of biodiverse roofs and a nest box for Peregrines.
Header photo: bulbs by the wildflower meadow at Approach Gardens (Colin Toogood)