Why Policy Matters: Working together for wildlife at Wormwood Scrubs

Aerial drone picture of Wormwood Scrubs, (c) RSPB

In today's Why Policy Matters blog, Jeff Knott, RSPB Director of Policy & Advocacy, highlights the importance of working in partnership to deliver for nature at scale and the work the RSPB is doing with idverde to regenerate Wormwood Scrubs in West London.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, where we’ve been working partnership with idverde to bring nature into the heart of this unlikely landscape.

As great as is this project is, clearly, we need to work at ever greater scale, way beyond a single park, if we’re to turn around fortunes of nature. Working with businesses and local communities is a vital part of that. Translating ambitions and warm words into on the ground action requires vision, money and expertise. Often, it’s the latter many businesses need support with and that’s where the RSPB’s Business Conservation Advice Unit come in.

One of the great things about working with idverde, is that they’re involved in work all over the country, so we can have impact over multiple sites. As well as the Olympic Park, another place where we work with them is Wormwood Scrubs. I know what you’re thinking and no, it’s not the prison, but it’s one of the largest areas of common land in London.

This former military exercise ground is now owned by a charitable trust and for the last six years, idverde has managed the land on their behalf. At the beginning of 2022, the RSPB got involved and began working in partnership with them at the site to make it better for nature.

RSPB's Kate McVay and volunteers working at Wormwood Scrubs, (c) RSPB

This has resulted in a comprehensive biodiversity action plan, that is helping to secure the long-term management for important species. Just as importantly, hundreds of volunteers have contributed to the site. Engaging more and more diverse audiences is a key challenge to make sure everyone has access to nature rich spaces, so engaging the local community, especially those from some of the most deprived areas in the borough, is just as important as the habitat we are helping to create together.

But they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so rather than any more from me, check out this great video, showing how Kate McVay from the Business Conservation Advice Unit, colleagues at idverde and the local community are coming together to make a difference to nature at the Scrubs.

Video on the regeneration of Wormwood Scrubs in West London, (c) RSPB

If you want to raise the profile of nature within your business go to the SOWI Nature of Business site, or make a Nature Positive Pledge, or look into your companies’ response to the People’s Plan for Nature.