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Bromley to pilot new RSPB scheme to bring residents and wildlife closer together

PUBLISHED: 11:17 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:17 11 September 2017

The RSPB's Steven Lofting joining the idverde team in Bromley

The RSPB's Steven Lofting joining the idverde team in Bromley

Archant

If successful, RSPB hopes to take the pilot elsewhere in the country

A brand new pilot scheme to bring residents and the borough’s wildlife closer together is beginning this week.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is working with the council’s green space contractor, idverde, to enhance parks and green spaces, in first scheme of its kind.

With the borough’s own contractors still responsible for maintaining the 93 sites of importance for nature conservation, six sites of special scientific interest and five nature reserves, advisers from the RSPB will be arriving in the borough to advise on protecting wildlife habitats and plants.

Along with the protection, the partnership is expected to bring fresh opportunities for residents to get outdoors to find out more about the borough’s wildlife by working with the local ‘Friends of Parks’ groups.

Nigel Symes, head of business advice at RSPB, said: “There is a growing body of research revealing the long-term benefits to people’s well-being from living in an urban area with access to green spaces.

“It is really exciting to be working alongside idverde to give local people the tools they need to find out more about the important role Bromley is playing in providing a home for species and what we can all do to enhance and cherish the green spaces in our neighbourhood.”

The partnership has been developed for an initial 18-month period, but the RSPB has said it hopes to develop a “long term” relationship, and expand the pilot scheme to elsewhere in the country.

John Pemberton, idverde’s conservation and education development manager, said: “Collaborative approaches to conservation are essential if we are to safeguard our biodiversity for future generations.

“We hope that through our funding, the RSPB will be able to continue its valuable work alongside idverde in enabling and empowering the communities of Bromley to engage with the nature on their doorstep and make a positive impact.”

Colin Smith, executive councillor for environment, said: “We hold a debt and duty to protect not only what we have been blessed to enjoy ourselves, but also for future generations too and this is why the partnership work between the council, idverde and Bromley’s ‘Friends of Parks’ groups is so important.

“The depth of skills which idverde bring to the table in tandem with the obvious strengths of the country’s largest nature conservation charity, the RSPB, is excellent news for Bromley’s people and green environment given the added dynamism and benefits their joint working will bring, particularly over the longer term, where such planning and commitment is so vital.”

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