A project which involves the management of the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park meadow, marsh, open water and woodland habitats in the park. It will also involve the creation of two mini spawning ponds for frogs, a variety of species-specific bird boxes, a bug habitat and a sensory garden.
The Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park was created on the site of an old steelworks by English Partnerships, the Government regeneration agency. The four and a half acre urban wildlife park was completed by early 2000 and opened to the public by the Trust for Urban Ecology in February 2002.
They received their lottery grant in the spring of 2008 and a great deal of work has started to improve the site. We'll be keeping track of their progress throughout the year so come back later and check how they're getting on.
The grant has so far allowed them to purchase extra tools, including tools suitable for use by children and young people and by people with mobility problems, and pond liner for the new frog spawning ponds.
In the next couple of months, they are planning some Habitat Action Days for children and young people - making papier mache nest boxes for House Martins, filling a giant indoor freshwater aquarium and cutting and weaving with willow.
The Friends of Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park were really keen to involve more people in the practical conservation work of the Park, helping to maintain vital urban habitats for wildlife, and to add some special homes for animals.
In the project's first month, they recruited people from all walks of life to join a Wednesday practical workday team. Volunteers from 16 to 65 have been involved in a wide range of tasks and they have also involved local companies in employee workdays where people swap keyboards and phones for spades and shears for a day.
The volunteers have done everything from clearing a large swathe of shingle beach, restoring stream beds and creating a new spawning pond for the park's frogs. They've also cut a large reedbed and started to restore the kingfisher nesting tunnel. Three younger volunteers, all under 18, have started to look after the animals in the park, feeding wild birds, pond dipping to add invertebrates to our indoor aquariums as well as looking after a lost homing dove and 2 terrapins found dumped in the lake.
The Ecology Park is a 4 acre wetland park, created by English Partnerships on the site of an old steel factory. As well as 2 large lakes, fed by water from a chalk borehole, the Park contains a mosaic of different habitats including shingle beach, wild flower meadow, marsh, willow woodland, alder carr, an ephemeral pool, small pond and streams.
Although man made, none of the animal species have been introduced - all have found their way here because of the excellent balance of natural habitats and availability of natural foods (many people in urban areas think that water birds, such as Coots and Swans, eat only bread until they see them feed on water plants at the Ecology Park).
You can find more information about Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park and other Breathing Places in your region here