This week we were very pleased to finally get to work with our good friends over at Edible London to install a brand new wildlife pond and wildflower bank in their community food growing space in North London’s Harmony Gardens, part of Haringey’s Lordship Recreation Grounds on Broadwater Farm Estate in Tottenham.
From the get-go, the volunteers at Harmony Gardens had a great understanding of the importance of increasing biodiversity by diversifying the number of habitats and food resources available within their local space. It was great to be able to answer many questions throughout the day, volunteers were curious about why we used specific species, or particular natural decor, and were very keen to understand the process of wildlife pond building and how it differs from a typical garden pond.
As part of our Inner City Pond Project, our aim is to support communities to improve and increase the quality and number of water bodies (ponds, lakes, streams, etc) in their local areas so we can help form a huge interconnected series of freshwater habitats throughout the city of London and beyond. Freshwater ecosystems underpin all life on Earth, and our purpose is of course to promote biodiversity and provide this vital resource for London’s wildlife (including its rare species and pollinators!), but we also know how crucial nature can be in providing real health benefits for communities, whether providing peace for those seeking solace or who may struggle on a day-to-day basis or just enriching people’s lives and providing avenues for education and the prospect of a healthy climate as we continue to face backlash from our planet for the unsustainable way our industries decimate it daily.
Who is Edible London?
Edible London is a grass-roots organization that works with local communities to redefine our relationship with food. The way it’s produced, distributed, consumed, and discarded. We focus on education, local regenerative farming, and the circular management of all resources. We also want to ensure that the communities we serve are resilient and able to bounce back no matter the problems that they face. By sowing the right seeds, we safeguard and promote the right type of growth in our communities. You can learn more about Edible London and what they do here.
Before and after!
Before: A kind volunteer willingly sacrificed some overgrown space in her allotted growing area for the new wildlife pond
After: The new wildlife pond, complete with 18 native British terrestrial, wetland, and subaquatic plants, plus wildflower seeds!
Promoting British species at risk
As part of this wildlife pond build, we introduced 18 native plants species including, Lesser Water Plantain (Baldellia ranunculoides), a perennial herb that is typically restricted to waterside riparian habitats and has seen a significant reduction in its presence across the east of its range in the UK, Bog Pimpernel (Anagallis tenella) which suffers much of the same fate, and the Floating Water Plantain (Luronium natans), an aquatic species which has specific habitat preferences and, although probably under-recorded, has receded across a very large part of its range due to habitat-loss and eutrophication.
Now it’s time to sit back and let nature do its thing!
We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Arnold Clark Community Fund for the financial support provided by way of their community grants programme, we would also like to thank Wildwoods Water Gardens in Enfield for their generous support and an incredible selection of native British wetland plants, Naturekind Ltd for their wildflower plug plant and seed donations, and the upbeat volunteers at Harmony Gardens for all their help on the day.