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Nature walk: Discover biodiversity hotspots in London

Science Gallery London, Guy’s Campus, London

28MayNature in London

Join us for a nature walk to discover different projects aiming at restoring and learning about biodiversity in London!

Taking around an hour and a half, this walk will give you a great insight and overview into various projects helping boost biodiversity across the city.

Oliver Austen will teach you how to use the I Naturalist app to identify species and help scientists researching plants, animals and fungi in urban settings.

We will also be joined by Alison Benjamin, who will discuss several bee hotels and observation panels installed by her NGO Urban bees and explain the importance of bees in urban settings.

Leanne Werner and Helena Smith will guide you around the garden their NGO Wilder created and explain how they create biodiversity hot spots in London.

Before coming, please download the I Naturalist App

Location:

  • Meeting point: Café at the Science Gallery
  • End point: Garden at Great Dover street

Limit: 20 people

 

Biographies

Oli Austen

Oli Austen

Founder of King’s Community Garden, located on Guy’s campus. Has an interest in biodiversity and drawing attention to all the wildlife that surrounds us, and its importance. Recently received funding for a project which aims to increase the biodiversity at the community garden, and install signage which will educate people about the nature that is in the area. 

Urban bees

URBAN BEES

Alison Benjamin is the co-founder of Urban Bees, a small enterprise that works with corporates, communities and organisations to create nesting sites for wild bees in cities and gardens that flower throughout the year to feed wild bees and other pollinators. She has rooftop gardens in the City, Soho and Paddington. She also gives talks and runs workshops to show people simple steps they can take to help bees in their own gardens or window boxes. Alison was a Guardian journalist for 20 years before training as a horticulturalist. She still writes articles and has written a number of books about bees. Her latest is The Good Bee; A Celebration of Bees & How to Save Them. She is a member of the advisory group to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Bees and Pollinators.

She can be followed on Instagram alison_urbanbees X @alisonurbanbees LinkedIn Alison Benjamin

Wilder

WILDER

Wilder exists to try to halt biodiversity decline in our cities, and to change mind sets. We want to challenge current urban gardening practices that rely on fossil-fuel powered machinery and spraying, to show that cities can become both friendlier towards wildlife and more liveable for people.

Our projects demonstrate the cooling and carbon-storing properties of urban planting. And food sovereignty is a central part of our work, engaging people with permaculture practices that reduce dependency on imported and packaged food.

Wilder is run by Leanne Werner and Helena Smith, who met when Leanne was chairing Southwark Council's climate emergency scrutiny commission. Leanne put out a call for a videographer to document the drop in pollution during the 2020 lockdown. Helena filmed Southwark Voices in response.

Our combined skills encompass fundraising, policy change, writing, photography and video-making. And we love gardening, and the life-enhancing benefits of connecting with the soil.


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