What the Friends group does:
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Help Support Our WORK
In September 2018 a group of local volunteers who had been working together to revitalise Berrylands Nature Reserve, under the guidance of local conservation charity Habitats & Heritage (then known as the Environment Trust), decide to form a community group to support the long term care and continued improvement of the site.
The ‘Friends of Berrylands Nature Reserve’ was born!
The group has one simple aim, and everything the we do has this motivation at it’s heart.
The group is entirely volunteer run, and the work we do in maintaining, improving and promoting Berrylands Nature Reserve and other local green spaces is only made possible thanks to the fantasic support of the local community.
Since founding the Friends group in September 2018 we have been able to run more than 90 volunteer events caring for our local green spaces. Local volunteers of all ages have contributed thousands of hours of their time to making Berrylands a better place for the local community and its wildlife.
Through these sessions we have enhanced the nature reserve’s usability by improving and maintaining the main paths, new wildlife habitats have been created through features like our bug hotel and amphibian hibernaculum, and we have helped native species to flourish through extensive removal of non-native invasive plants, and planting new native trees and hedges around the Wildlife Pond and site periphery.
We have also been able to help improve some of our other local spaces too, including cleaning-up Hogsmill Wood Nature Reserve, which had been neglected for many years, and even helping with the creation and ongoing care of 2 new local orchards in Berrylands Park, and Green Lane Recreation Ground which we hope will be valuable community assets for many years to come.
In addition to conservation activity we also promote and care for the Nature Reserve and our local green spaces in other ways.
We work with numerous organisations: Kingston Council and their green-spaces contractors Glendale on the management of the site, South East Rivers Trust on recording non-native invasive species in the local area and of course Habitats & Heritage, who were responsible for the restoration project at the nature reserve during 2018.
Thoughtout the year volunteers also represent Berrylands Nature Reserve and our other green spaces at local fairs, fetes and festivals; encouraging people to use, enjoy and appreciate their local green spaces, and inspiring residents to get involved.
The group have many plans and aspirations for the future so we really hope local residents will support the Friends of Berrylands Nature Reserve by becoming a member, and getting involved with the work we do, and the events we organise.