Supporting a Vision for a Wilder Community Greenspace

Posted on 18 March 2024

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Client: Community Group

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Site: Frome, East Somerset

Communities know their greenspaces better than anyone, and this project was a clear demonstration that pairing this local knowledge and passion with SWTC's ecology and policy expertise is a fantastic way for communities to get a clearer idea on how to get started with their enhancement projects.

Aims and Objectives

For lots of communities, access to local greenspace is a prized asset and a valuable opportunity to connect with nature. In the midst of the biodiversity crisis, many communities are looking for ways to enhance the biodiversity value of their local spaces and ensure these special places are havens for wildlife. Sometimes, knowing where to start on an enhancement project is the hardest part and communities need expert advice to help them understand the potential their greenspace offers.

The key aim for this community was to work in partnership with SWTC to produce a Biodiversity Enhancement Strategy which presented a wilder vision for their greenspace and included an action plan of measures to take to achieve their vision.

Approach and Outcomes

Through collaboration with several members of the community, SWTC were able to understand the unique characteristics of this greenspace and its particular importance to the local community. Using our expert knowledge of local and national biodiversity initiatives we were able to break down the goals of the project into key thematic objectives: community, climate, conservation and monitoring. Drawing on this, and at every step considering how the community engage with this space, SWTC produced an 'Action Plan' for the site which outlined measures the community could take to enhance their greenspace. Suggestions were varied, and included habitat creation of features such as ponds and orchards; habitat management such as hedge laying and drystone walling; and monitoring and education opportunities such as 'Bioblitz' events and regional networking.

Thanks to the efforts of the community and our bespoke advice, this community now have a Biodiversity Enhancement Strategy to help guide their vision for the space.

The next step in the process for this community is to agree on which actions they would like to focus their efforts on, at which point SWTC will be on hand to provide advice on further surveys and practical land management to ensure that this community's vision becomes a reality.

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