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Natural Estates - getting green in London's housing heartland

Credit Karolina L GogolCredit Karolina L Gogol

The Natural Estates project involved more than 7,000 residents in enhancing and maintaining their common green spaces, improving their physical and emotional health, social cohesion and promoting active citizenship.

Natural Estates was a partnership between London Wildlife Trust, eight social landlords, and Groundwork London; funded through Big Lottery Access to Nature, in collaboration with Natural England.

Residents from nine different housing estates around London were given a programme of activity-based interventions that enhanced the biodiversity of communal green spaces and improved the green infrastructure of London's Living Landscape.

Among the activities the Natural Estates project led were:

  • Creating minibeast shelters
  • Bio-blitzes
  • Building bat boxes
  • Learning about deadwood habitats
  • Creating balcony planters and hanging baskets
  • Building and planting raised beds
  • Sowing wildflower meadows
  • Making stag beetle loggeries
  • Creating a hedgehog hibernacula
  • Wildlife surveys

Alongside working with residents, London Wildlife Trust and Groundwork London ran a programme of capacity-building training events that engaged social landlords in the management of green space, to make it better for wildlife and residents.

The social landlord partners were Affinity Sutton Group, Circle 33 Housing Trust, CityWest Homes, Gallions Housing Association, Homes for Haringey, Peabody, Places for People and Southern Housing Group.

All this work contributes to Neighbourhoods Green, the national programme aimed at improving the quality of design, management and use of the spaces owned by social landlords.

Natural Estates is a further example of London Wildlife Trust's commitment to a city where all people have access to quality natural space. The Trust works with social landlords and resident communities all over London to improve green spaces on estates for people and wildlife, as demonstrated through the Cockney Sparrow project with Peabody Housing Association and the Wandle Estates project.

For more informationcontact Leah McNally: lmcnally@wildlondon.org.uk