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New project will help to ‘rewild’ London

A new £600,000 project will help to rewild London and restore some of its wildlife sites. 

There are 1,600 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) in London, covering 20% of the capital, however currently only around half of these sites are being appropriately managed to conserve or enhance the wildlife. 

Thanks to new funding from the Mayor of London, this new project will be delivered with expert advice from London Wildlife Trust and will support 20-30 of these sites to ensure that London’s special species thrive. 

This will include creating new homes for stag beetles, restoring waterways for voles and helping birds like swifts and house sparrows to flourish. 

Sadiq Khan also announced plans for a ‘Rewilding Roundtable’ event that will explore opportunities for more ambitious, innovative projects to support nature in the capital. 

deer near tree at daytime

Today’s announcements build on the policies that the Mayor introduced in his London Plan, including robust protections for green spaces and the Green Belt, as well as the £6m investment in green spaces and climate resilience launched in June 2021, with the first beneficiaries of that funding also announced today.

The £6m Grow Back Greener Fund has awarded £1.4m – including £500,000 from Thames Water – to 45 community projects that will create and improve green spaces and boost climate resilience. As well as helping to rewild London, these projects will increase access to green space, reduce flood risk and improve water quality. 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘The UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world. In London, we need to take bold action to ensure that we not only halt the decline of biodiversity in our natural environment but pave the way for growth and change.

‘That’s why I’ve announced my new Rewilding Fund, which will help restore the capital’s precious wildlife sites, improve biodiversity and ensure all Londoners have a thriving web of nature on their doorstep. And as part of our Green New Deal, we’re supporting young Londoners to gain the skills required for jobs that help secure a future for London’s natural environment.

‘I am proud to have helped London to be recognised as the world’s first National Park City in 2019, and this funding shows my commitment to protecting that status and doing all I can to protect London’s amazing network of green spaces, rivers and natural habitats.’

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