With over 230 gardens already on board, the Gardens & Greenspaces network is a growing movement. We now need to start building up a better picture of how the land is being used and its ecological health.
To this end, we are launching a new registration survey. Much like farm-level surveys, this will allow you to create an initial record of your garden, park or greenspace. This forms part of what we call the baseline and will enable you to measure change over time. Later surveys will allow you to update this initial picture with information on any projects or changes you make, and assess the impact on recorded species.
Find out more about this new process below
While farms and estates make up the majority of the landscape, gardens and green spaces play an equally critical role. These areas, including parks, churchyards, and playing fields, collectively constitute 10% of the corridor's total area. They are indispensable habitats that contribute significantly to the health of local ecosystems.
The farms and estates along the corridor have been registering their land on a cutting-edge technical platform known as LandApp. This allows them to map their boundaries, record the current land use and then create environmental management plans for their landholding. These plans are being closely linked to biodiversity baseline surveys, allowing us to gauge the ecological health of the region and pinpoint areas where improvements are needed.
While the LandApp platform has proven invaluable for managing larger landholdings, it is less useful for smaller-scale greenspaces, such as gardens and community projects. Monitoring these green spaces in detail is equally important and we want to track and measure the impact of measures taken to improve connectivity and habitats. Therefore, Weald to Waves is introducing a new monitoring process designed specifically for gardeners, councils, and community groups.
If you've already signed up, keep an eye out for a survey that will soon arrive in your inbox. This survey aims to collect comprehensive information about the habitats and health of each greenspace registered. Going forward, all new registrations will receive this survey to complete. We will then follow up with monitoring surveys that will collect simple but vital information about changes you are seeing and hearing in your garden, greenspace or land project. By doing this, you will help build a comprehensive picture of the habitats, species, pressures, and opportunities within our garden and greenspace ecosystems.
We are actively seeking a group of households who are open to collaborating to improve connectivity across their gardens. This collective effort might involve creating more permeable fencing between gardens, cutting hedgehog highway gaps in the bottom of hard fencing, planting contiguous strips of wildflowers, allowing areas of longer grass to flourish, or even introducing ponds or bog gardens. Support would be giving in the planning and monitoring of these gardening collectives, with interest from the press in following the transformation.
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