We aim to increase conservation activity to enhance the biodiversity in our communities. While we are improving the local environment in our communities, it is important to link people and place, instilling a sense of pride, ownership and value towards the habitats that people live near to and visit.
Our work is also vital for maintaining green spaces in urban and suburban environments as part of an interconnected Green Infrastructure, so that local people can benefit from well managed, accessible green spaces and the wellbeing benefits these provide.
These are urban nature reserves, offering vital green spaces for biodiversity and the community. We have attracted additional external funding to help maintain and improve the biodiversity and access within these sites.
Collaboration to improve local woodlands
Our size and flexible, inclusive approach enables us to offer ‘drag and drop’ conservation in a variety of spaces, for a range of landowners, from which everyone benefits – the volunteers, the landowners and the wildlife. We often partner with other conservation organisations, including the Woodland Trust, Chilterns Conservation Board and Butterfly Conservation to increase environmental benefits in the Chilterns area.
At Penn Wood, we engage local people and community organisations such as scouts and youth clubs in hands-on restoration of this ancient semi-natural woodland to its former condition by removing non-native invasive species such as Western Hemlock & Rhododendron to allow Heather, Birch and Oak and the species they support to thrive.
During 2016/17 we have run a number of sessions where 3398 volunteers have given 9569 hours.
Valuing nature – Family events
Our regular family fun days encourage parents and inspire children to explore and learn about their local natural environments in their spare time. We have held film nights in our woods, and during the summer months, opportunities to try pond dipping, bat detecting and to learn more about moths by catching them after dark. These events are popular with local families from diverse backgrounds.