Small wetlands can boost Richmond’s biodiversity, mitigate flooding and help local wildlife cope with the heat

In 2022, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), Barnes Common Limited and the London Borough of Richmond on Thames joined forces to launch the project. Bluescapes Community project.

This multi-year collaboration aims to create and improve existing green and blue spaces in the area in consultation with and with the support of the local community.

This project, and the community wetlands it could create in the coming years, provide many benefits to the people of Richmond.

Adding more wetlands to the area can help slow flows into drains in times of excess rainfall to mitigate flooding, cool urban areas with bodies of water in extreme temperatures and provide ideal habitat for local wildlife to live in year-round.

While the project is still in its early days, this summer has seen temperatures rise, putting pressure on wildlife and serving as a sign of things to come as climate change accelerates.

Although widespread action is necessary to combat climate change, Richmond residents can all do something immediate to help local wildlife in this weather — you can all build your own mini wetlands.

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust recently launched a mini wetlands campaign, encouraging everyone with even the smallest outdoor space to build their own bucket pond or downpipe rain garden.

Our website features easy how-to guides, DIY videos on how to build your own mini wetland, and a monitoring sheet to help you identify which wildlife you attract.

Mosaics of small wetland habitats are incredibly valuable anywhere, but especially in towns and cities. The UK has lost 75% of its wetlands over the past 300 years, and this is particularly true in urban areas, where wetlands have been drained to build on.

Wetlands support more life than any other habitat on Earth, and small wetlands such as ponds are often richer in nature than larger bodies of water such as rivers and lakes.

The research has also shown that these small wetlands in built-up areas can support similar levels of insect life to their rural counterparts.

By building your own mini wetland in Richmond, you will give nature the biggest boost possible, because freshwater wetlands support more life per square kilometer than any other type of habitat, and collecting and storing rainwater in your mini wetland can To help slow down environmental degradation. Water flower into drains, helping to reduce the severity of future flood events.

To help budding pond builders get started, we’ve published the Make a Big Splash for Nature booklet and created some step-by-step videos to walk you through the simple process. You can also read about financing and building large-scale community wetland projects.

Once you’ve created your personal water oasis, we encourage you to share photos with us on Twitter by tagging @WWTWorldwide and @CBluescapes and using the hashtag #MiniWetlands.

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