As the weather warms and nature awakens, we feel that urge to get out in the garden, walk through the bluebells, hear the birdsong, or spot those first butterflies. It can quite literally give us a spring in our step!
We also know – as highlighted so poignantly by David Attenborough on Wild Isles recently – that nature in the UK is struggling and those signs of spring we all love may not be here forever.
Unless, of course, we take action.
Weald to Waves will address this challenge by engaging with everyone who lives and works along the corridor, so that together we can take those important actions for nature and boost biodiversity across Sussex. There is so much we can all do to attract and support wildlife. Every piece of open space that we can connect will make a difference.
So it is with much excitement and anticipation that we now invite everyone with smaller plots to register interest in becoming a member of our new Gardens & Greenspaces community. If you represent a household, community group, council or business with responsibility for a garden or greenspace, we want to connect with you. This is your chance to be part of a pioneering project benefitting nature recovery in Sussex and beyond. Your pledges - small or large - will help establish a nationally-significant 100-mile corridor for wildlife, regenerating our local ecosystems for years to come.
You may be part of a parish council or school with a playground, a community woodland or orchard, or an allotment group. You may be a gardener trying to make changes in your garden, on your balcony or even in a window box,; or you may simply like to help but are just not sure where to get started, then membership of Gardens & Greenspaces will offer you fantastic opportunities to get involved and be part of Weald to Waves.
There is so much in the planning for Gardens & Greenspaces, including practical advice and guidance on gardening for wildlife, community events, knowledge sharing and data collection, and hopefully a lot of fun and inspiration along the way! A critical part of the project will be assessing the state of nature in our gardens along the corridor. We will be sharing guidance on how to measure and record this so we can track the impact of any changes you make. You will also have the opportunity to appear on the Weald to Waves map and become a future ‘Community Champion’.
On the subject of champions, I am so delighted to also welcome our first Gardens & Greenspaces Ambassadors – Kate Bradbury, author and journalist specialising in wildlife gardening and Suzi Turner, Deputy Head Gardener at the Knepp Estate. They bring huge expertise and enthusiasm to the project, and we look forward to working with them both.
I am really inspired by all the opportunities that will come through Gardens & Greenspaces and am already taking steps to garden for wildlife at home. So please join me and together we can keep that spring in our step for nature in Sussex!
Amy Hurn Gardens & Greenspaces Coordinator, Weald to Waves
Get involved: register your interest or find out more on our Gardens & Greenspaces page
Kate Bradbury’s first blog for Gardens & Greenspaces
Newly released: The Book of Wilding , Isabella Tree, chapter 11: Rewilding Your Garden
Costing The Earth, Gardens of the Future, BBC Radio 4