Kentish Town’s urban wildlife received a welcome addition to their predominantly concrete surroundings recently thanks to a great initiative co-funded by the conservation charity Freshwater Life Project, and Camden Council. Together with local community members, the Freshwater Life Project team transformed this forgotten space at a local community hub into a fully-fledged wildlife pond within a weekend. The overgrown corner was once home to a somewhat smaller pond that had been vandalized in the past leaving the space ignored and under-appreciated, until now.
To the surprise of the team, a black plastic tub left half-buried in the ground, perhaps as a way to prevent the water resource from being lost entirely, was still home to a number of aquatic inhabitants including young toadlets, efts (baby newts), and a plethora of insect life such as dragonfly nymphs and other aquatic larvae that had presumably sustained this mini urban ecosystem.
Project manager Laura Suckley remarked, “It has been so incredible to work with the local community to return this obvious wildlife haven to its former glory and then some, the fact that we’ve found so much life existing in what essentially is a glorified bucket is a true testament to the resilience and determination of nature to survive in our city and I’m glad we’ve been able to make it easier for them”.
The initiative is part of the Inner City Pond Project run by Freshwater Life Project and aims to improve public areas for communities by creating and/or improving existing spaces to increase the connectivity of wildlife habitats in urban environments and ensure all people can have access to nature in their local borough.
The charity prioritizes diversity and inclusion at all levels and aims to work with lesser-engaged people from all communities. We know that social and environmental injustices are intrinsically linked, and a problem for us all to tackle together.
Do you own or know of a disused urban space that could be transformed to benefit both people and wildlife alike? If so, you can make contact with the Freshwater Life Project charity here. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you to make your city a more people and wildlife-friendly place together.