Native bird populations are in massive decline. In the late 1990's, London’s Common Sparrow numbers dropped 70% in just 5 years. Black Redstarts, Bats, Swifts, Peregrine Falcons and wild bees are also listed in the City of London’s Biodiversity Action Plan as species whose local populations are now at great risk. These drops affect wider biodiversity, even in developed areas like the City of London. All these species need spaces with habitat and food, away from busy roads and pests, to survive. The City of London and the surrounding boroughs have limited spaces like these, making our large, rooftop garden a prime location to help protect and restore bird life in the Square Mile
Funding will be used to promote these free, child-friendly events to the local community and to fund materials and supplies. The three events will cover the following areas: Food - offer a pruning workshop to maintain the beautiful array of shrubs and trees which currently provide cover and food for the birds. And a foraging workshop to increase knowledge of the surrounding area and how it can be protected. Home - building and painting bird boxes and bug hotels Live - making a bird bath and bird feeders, and beginning Spring planting. In terms of bug hotels I would suggest 4 workshops 1 36 Birdboxes
Benk & Bo has run the Estate’s Garden Club with Aldgate BID’s support since March 2022. We already have in place a Climate Resiliency project to transform the space into a community-run permaculture food forest, with the goal of creating a space rich in biodiversity, community engagement, and opportunities to learn and grow as a neighbourhood. We are working to offer this community space to the local area as widely as possible, to share in the multitude of social, health, and financial benefits community growing can offer. These events will help attract a wider audience to our project, while also attracting a wider audience of birds, bugs, and bees to our green, city oasis.
|Food & Drink||£450|
We envision three key impacts of this project:Firstly, bird, bee, and insect life will improve in our space, which will have a positive impact on our green space, and surrounding spaces. We expect to track a wider variety of birds, bugs, insects, and bees, and to see nesting boxes in use, indicating our work is helping to build bird population numbers.This project also forms part of our climate resiliency program. Climate change has drastically affected how we garden, and we want to learn how to best adapt to our changing world. Part of this involves designing our beds with a permaculture food forest model, to improve soil health and biodiversity. Lastly, the inclusion of more edible and colourful perennials will make the garden more exciting for volunteers, as well as wildlife. It will provide more fresh and free produce for gardeners, educational opportunities for all ages, and will help create a space that requires less effort to keep alive our increasingly extreme seasons.
With our core funding, we have already expanded garden volunteer membership, re-established a well-functioning compost heap, increased the edible produce available for volunteers and residents, and secured small funding pots for other projects as part of our larger climate-resiliency projects. As part of her work for the Middlesex Street Estate Community Food Garden, the volunteer supervisor, Freya, has also been nominated in 2022 for a 'Local Hero of Aldgate Award'. Furthermore, Benk & Bo is a social enterprise that runs several creative events of all shapes and sizes. From Jazz nights, Yard Sales, Craft projects, and, of course, weekly volunteer gardening sessions. This project will operate as three community events running in March, April, May, and the team at Benk & Bo have a well-established track record of setting up and promoting local events.