Each year in March, the King's community take part in a range of volunteering activities as part of Global Day of Service . Join us for a chance to volunteer with the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve (BGNR) alongside your fellow alumni. This community run research institute includes Phytology - an urban physic garden that provides free food, medicine and learning opportunities for local communities. You can find out more about Global Day of Service here.
Three sessions are available on a first serve basis (roughly 15 per session).
- From 9am - 11am
- From 12pm - 2pm
- From 3pm - 5pm
Our alumni volunteers will learn how to support the day-to-day upkeep of the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve (BGNR), a community run research institute working at the intersection of arts and science, with a specific focus on urban ecologies.
What will volunteers get up to?
The day will consist of:
- A short tour of the site, discussing various research projects currently taking place e.g. Phytology, Mobile Apothecary, Mycelium Farm, Wetland restoration and Urban Mind.
- Collectively working on one of the habitats within the Reserve.
- A display of how to identify and forage a range of medicine plants commonly found on the streets of London.
- Testing medicines produced by our BGNR's team, which are distributed locally.
- A herbal tea tasting session, featuring spring time medicine herbs grown and freshly picked from the Phytology medicine garden.
What should I bring with me?
We are an outdoor space, please wear sensible shoes that can get a little muddy and wear weather appropriate clothing to keep warm and dry. The most useful thing to bring is curiosity and sense of adventure.
About the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve
The Reserve also houses a newly built mycelium/mushroom farm, home to several species of mushroom grown for ecological benefit and medicinal/nutritional properties. These include Lions Main, Jelly Ears, Chicken of the Woods, Turkey Tails, and Birch Polypore. A long-term aim of the project is to provide food and medicine for our communities while offering learning opportunities amongst residents, school groups and social prescribing networks. We will discuss how the newly installed mushroom habitat will contribute towards the long-term ambition of providing alternative learnings supporting healthy social and land-based ecologies.
The founders of BGNR are also working on a King's Funded project - Urban Mind - a research project employing app based technologies to measure individuals experience of the urban environment (mental wellbeing, social, ecological). Urban Mind has been collecting Citizen Science data over the past five years, building valuable evidence designing healthy cities where biodiversity is prioritised within urban planning and investment. Recent Urban Mind article include a study exploring the effects of loneliness and another more recent paper exploring the correlation between bird song and mental wellbeing.
Entrance: Please make your way directly to the gardens using the following address: Phytology, Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, Middleton Street, London E2 9RR. [The venue is 2 blocks from the Bethnal Green Tube (Central Line) and one block from Cambridge Heath Overground Station]
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