What the Friends group does:
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 the Envionment 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.
Over our first year we have run more than 25 volunteer events caring for our local green spaces, with volunteers of all ages contributing over 1000 hours of their time to making Berrylands a better place for the local community and its wildlife.
Through these sessions we have enhanced the site’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 even helped with the creation and ongoing care of a new local orchard in Green Lane Recreation Ground which we hope will be a valuable community asset 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 idVerde on the management of the site, South East Rivers Trust on recording non-native invasive species in the local area and of course the Environment Trust, who were responsible for the restoration project at the nature reserve.
Thoughtout the year volunteers also represent Berrylands Nature Reserve 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.