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Gardens & Greenspaces

Gardens are stepping stones across a fragmented landscape. Join us and join the dots.

Did you know that gardens make up the largest block of land in the Weald to Waves corridor? When we add in our parks and playgrounds, orchards and allotments, balconies and verges, this amounts to more land than Ashdown Forest. What an extraordinary call to action for a nation of gardeners!

To harness this wonderful opportunity for nature, Weald to Waves has launched a Gardens and Greenspaces Network to connect both people and habitats across our fragmented Sussex landscape.

Pledged land. Practical action.

Beneath our patios and goalposts, our gardens and parks are part of ancient ecosystems. They can provide crucial stepping stones for pollinators, small mammals, amphibians and birds in a landscape that's largely given over to human food production. Without swift action, we will continue to see a free fall in the diversity and abundance of nature across the UK, and the loss of all the ecosystem services they provide us.

This is not about abandoning our gardens or designing ourselves out of our own outdoor spaces, but rather working with nature to create resilient and naturally beautiful gardens that offer a haven for wildlife alongside our social and cultural lives.

The UK has made a global commitment to protect 30% of our national landscape for nature. By protecting less than a third of our gardens and greenspaces for wildlife, we can lead from the ground up and put that goal into action. From creating ponds to building log piles, leaving wild edges and planting native species, there are plenty of ways to transform your outdoor space into a thriving ecosystem for wildlife.

How can just my garden help? In England alone the area of our gardens is more than four and a half times the size of our national nature reserves. We are looking for gardens, big and small, to be part of the network and give over at least 30% to nature recovery.
Village Greens
Village greens play an important role in the social and cultural life of rural communities. Historically used for grazing livestock, today they are social hubs, hosting sports, fairs, and community gatherings. By restoring wild edges and setting up community bug hotels, we can continue to share our greens with nature.
By incorporating nature-friendly design elements, playgrounds can become a valuable part of local nature recovery efforts and help with nature education. Adding natural play materials, like wood chip, tree stumps and willow dens, and mini-habitats, such as birdhouses and bat boxes, children can be closer to nature in their play.
Our public and county parks provide ample opportunities for new habitats and public engagement. Some of Sussex parks are leading the way with mini-meadows, small scale wetland creation, nature trails and scrub regeneration. We want to support every park in the corridor to have 30% of connected wild space in place by 2030.
Verges & Footpaths
As linear strips of habitat, roadside verges and footpaths are key to connectivity between other green spaces in the corridor. Working with local groups and councils we can manage road safety, visibility and access while protecting these vital connectors.
Allotments & Veg Gardens
By designating buffer areas as wild edges, using organic gardening practices, and committing to composting, crop rotation, and natural pest control, allotment holders and growers can play an important role in demonstrating nature-positive food production.
Churchyards & Burial grounds
Church yards and burial grounds hold a wealth of cultural and natural history. Ancient trees, old walls, and rich grasslands, provide important heritage habitats. There is a richness of community within places of worship; from volunteering, to fundraising, to community education, this can also be a huge help in nature recovery.
Woodlands play a crucial role in storing carbon and nurturing biodiversity and, in Sussex, many of them are managed by volunteers. Through coppicing, tree planting, and the creation of deadwood habitats they can form biodiversity hotspots along the corridor route.

The collective power of our gardens and greenspaces is huge and if together we put nature at the forefront of our actions, it will benefit both us and our vital ecosystems, now and into the future.

Benefits of joining Gardens & Greenspaces

We will be on hand with resources, training, learning exchanges and events, as well as a new toolkit to help you assess the current state of health for nature in your garden. This will help us track the impact of the changes made in gardens along the corridor route.

Not in the corridor? Don't worry! Our blog and newsletter will be stacked with advice and support for gardeners, growers and greenspace stewards, wherever you are.

Register your interest below to receive further information on joining the Gardens & Greenspace network and the opportunities that membership will bring, including:

Practical Tips
Advice from our wildlife gardening experts and Weald to Waves partners
Events and Networking
Opportunities to meet partners and other members along the Weald to Waves corridor
Data and Monitoring
Help to monitor progress in your garden and greenspaces and its impact on nature recovery
Funding Opportunities
Support and advice to access funding opportunities for community projects
Weald to Waves Map
Opportunity for your pledge to be included on the Weald to Waves project map
Community Champions
Become a Community Champion in your local area and help gardens grow for nature

Gardens & Greenspaces Ambassadors

We welcome our first Gardens & Greenspaces Ambassadors who will be sharing their knowledge and expertise with members:

Kate Bradbury - Garden & Greenspace Ambassador
Author & Journalist, Wildlife Gardening
Suzi Turner - Garden & Greenspace Ambassador
Deputy Head Gardener, Knepp Estate

Join Us

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Contact us

Click the link below or email us at info@wealdtowaves.co.uk to get in touch