('Urban Pocket Wildscaping')
PEOPLE POWER, INVESTED IN OUR LANDSCAPE
Due to land registry restrictions, the tiny pieces of land might have to be owned collaboratively NOT individually but - overall - we would have shared ownership over that patch of land and know that we have protected it.
You are invited to purchase/donate on the legal understanding (signed on purchase) that the land will become a lush, colourful, wild space (and thereafter will be examined to see if it needs any conservational management) and will be protected PERMANENTLY to wildscape Britain.
We'll allow nature to restore ecological balance.
If 100,000s of these tiny pockets of land can be wildscaped, mini wildflower meadows & refuges for wildlife/pollinators will impact across the urban landscape.
Scattered throughout our urban commercial/residential spaces are 100,000s of tiny patches of grass land (1 metre and upwards) that are wasted/unused and COULD be wildscaped...
What if we bought those tiny patches freehold under a contractual agreement to permanently wildscape them?
We stand & work together (no matter our differences/wage) to buy and wildscape 100,000s of tiny 'pockets' of land across our UK Urban landscape.
Please check out our plans for 'Rubbish Revived'
HEDGING - Each pocket will have a perimetre of bird friendly hedging around it. The benefits of which are... 1. The hedge will be both habitat & a food source for birds. 2. Keeping the pocket a sanctuary for local wildlife - like hedgehogs - to settle in. 3. The hedge creates a wind protected space for pollinators (bees & butterflies) to dip into to access the wildflowers, separated by the hedge from the slip streams of passing traffic.
SPRING/SUMMER BEAUTY - The hedging will be planted with wildflower bulbs underneath, so that during the spring/summer months, colourful, lush flowers will grow up and leap out at passers by through the leafy greenery.
BIOSTABILITY AND BIODIVERSITY - Within the pocket will be planted multi-level plants: food for the caterpillars AND food for the butterflies: an environment for wildlife & pollinators to settle/have families in.
To wildscape across our UK urban landscape ASAP, every Pocket can be MONETISED to pay for MORE Pockets. If each Pocket generates revenue - through various schemes, also beneficial to the local communities in which they reside, featured below - and every NEW Pocket generates more revenue for the NEXT Pocket and so on, we'll wildscape further and further across our urban landscape making space for millions of lives and for the betterment of an ever expanding human audience.
Each Pocket will have a sign with it [provided we don't need planning permission to do so] declaring it a 'Wildscaped Local Pocket'... These signs will have a glass front and space for local businesses to advertise to the community as they enjoy the Pockets. The advertising revenue will help to monetise the Pockets passively whilst drawing the local community together to better find out about one another, supporting this wildscaping scheme together.
Foraging Workshops/Local Educational Opportunities... Learning about plants & herbs to forage for, plus plants with medicinal properties... Planting blackberries, currents & goji berries (to illustrate nature's bounty) and these can be companion planted with complementary native plants...
W.W will invite marketing students in the nearest universities/colleges to put forward their own ideas (for which they get full credit) to monetise the Pockets: also further expanding our audience.
Research/Findings So Far...
I've been lucky enough to speak to Professor Alastair Driver, who thinks that small mammals, insects and birds will use these spaces and he even brought up other benefits that I hadn’t considered, like the savings on carbon emissions by stopping the land from being mowed continuously and the lack of water pollution because we will be stopping any pesticides that may have been being used before. Each individual patch has a small impact but the local 'clusters' of patches benefit local wildlife/pollinators AND as the numbers move into the 1000s (then 10,000s & 100,000s) the combined impact is MASSIVE, along with all the other benefits.
The only negatives were potential running of water pipes and cables under the land and dealing with situations with companies wanting access but these just need to be factored into the planning and he said that they weren’t a reason not to go ahead with the Pockets and bring about the MANY benefits.
I have spoken to a Ian Smith, Head of Financial Planning & Performance at WWF-UK who very kindly gave me his time to look over my plans to build a financial base from which to upscale 'Wildscaping Community' quickly once the first case studies are in place & overall it looks like we are doing the right things... Inviting a community of Protectors paying £1 - sourcing Pockets, overseeing the purchases and paying for Legal, Wildscaping & Wildflower expertise. It's also super important that those who would like to are invited to be part of this incredible process of reintegrating the natural world back into our urban landscape permanently through online meetings, frequent updates, social get togethers and reports on wildlife moving into the purchased spaces.
I've been speaking to Fergus Beeley at Blue Hub Campaign, and he had some great insights. Our plans are very different and he really challenged me to look at 'Wildscaping Community' from all angles and prepare to be challenged and even prepare to adapt if necessary (still purchasing & protecting urban pockets) but to take small steps as quickly as possible to start cracking up those grey sprawls with havens/refuges for plant and wildlife. The work he does is incredibly important and from years as a Series Producer working on most of the Natural Shows that you will have seen and loved, he is working tirelessly, rewilding the UK...
The ‘Ecological Objective’ behind Urban Pocket Wildscaping.
I have spoken to ecologists from Toronto, the UK & America (all with differing areas of expertise) about the best way to go about rewilding these small patches of land. One lady summed it up…
"I don't think there are specific measurements or patterns that are standardized, as most cities were developed before the environment was a major concern, so now they have to work with the infrastructure that is already in place. The original ecosystem and urban flora will determine what you can do as well.”
So rather than planning to find ‘X’ number of patches that are ‘X’ size within ‘X’ distance apart to help ‘X’ specific species, this story is about uniting communities to walk around together to find as much wasted land as we can buy (whatever size and shape each patch is) to then hand over to ecologists to treat as a bespoke case to best help biodiversity in that area.
It’s very much a ‘guerilla’ way of wildscaping (and definitely not as scientifically focused as ecologists normally like to be) but all of the ecologists have agreed that it’s the right (and probably only) way to go about it. [Plus everyone is keen to take data from these patches to learn from to maybe implement elsewhere.]
It also allows the local community to really learn from the experts as they wildscape the patches later on: finding out about the strengths and weaknesses for the local wildlife in their local area/soil quality/water fall.
As one ecologist (just finishing his phd in Charleston, America) said, when I asked him if these patches would definitely be of benefit to insects/birds/wildlife… “Yeah if you build it, they will come. Best of Luck!”
Through my previous background in TV, I have been made aware of a lot of platforms that would be interested in following our wildscaping progress...
We're going to be filming every step of the process to invite people in and allow ownership of our landscape ASAP.
- SOCIO-ECONOMIC EQUALITY - Greater equality across our landscape - Sometimes the most run down urban areas have the greatest amounts of wasted green space which (if they were wildscaped) would transform the local area into a brighter, cleaner, healthier, litter free environment.
- CLEANER AIR - Wildscaping in urban areas will cleanse the air from vehicle emissions (plants in the 'pockets' absorbing carbon and then being cut every winter, taking the absorptions with them where they can be used as valuable fertiliser elsewhere) meaning a healthier life for the local community.
- BIODIVERSITY - If 100,000s of these tiny pockets of land can be wildscaped it will offer a MASSIVE (maybe unprecedented) biodiversity boost.
- WILDLIFE HABITAT/RESOURCES - Local wildlife populations will be offered a massive boost in natural habitat and food sources. 10,000s wildlife casualties every year end up in Rescues fighting for their lives purely because of the way we waste the land around us and make it uninhabitable for them. This would be a permanent solution to support our urban wildlife (who have been driven in from agricultural areas because of pesticide use).
- EMPOWERED PUBLIC - A lot of the UK population renting in overcrowded residential areas - and feeling unable to effect change because they don’t own their own properties to wildscape - will be empowered to affordably wildscape their neighbourhoods/local streets & reharmonise with nature by permanently protecting (and collaboratively owning) these Pockets.
- WILDLIFE TRAVERSING SAFELY ACROSS URBAN SPACES - If 100,000s of these tiny pockets of land can be wildscaped, local wildlife will have multiple points of refuge and even safe spots to move between if they need to cross the urban landscape.
- ENDING CARBON EMISSIONS - There will be considerable savings on carbon emissions (if these Pockets were previously lawned grass) by stopping the land from being mowed continuously plus lack of water pollution because we will be stopping any pesticides that may have been being used before. Each individual patch only has a tiny impact but as the numbers move into the 1000s then the combined impact is significant.
- CLEANER DRINKING WATER & FLOOD PREVENTION - Cleaner drinking water & flood prevention for local residents - Rain water that falls on these wildscaped bits of land is filtered through the denser soil very slowly before any run off finally makes its way into sewers to be further cleansed by local water authorities.
- RE-EDUCATION - It’s a great way to let people know about #LettingLifeIn so that people can start to learn about the necessity for wildscaping before it's too late. This 'Wildscaped Community' idea non-aggressively and openly makes it easy for individuals with gardens to make changes to their OWN homes. They will be offered ways (through collaborative Partners) to wildscape their own land.
- COMMUNITY BROUGHT TOGETHER - Local conservation groups can monitor the wildscaped pockets and publish their findings through local press: creating interest locally in a way that communities can better relate to.