Wandering through the allies and small squares of London today whilst on the way to a meeting at the Museum of London, I encountered this small Square. Besides a new development the sides of the south facing walls were adorned with steel wires up which various ‘Hedera’ [Ivy] species were climbing.
This is Swiss style green walling. This has been installed relatively recently and the vegetation is doing well. No doubt in a few years time the whole wall will be covered in a thick swathe of dense vegetation. Although it would have been good to see some variety in the species of climbers planted, including clematis to add colour and nectar. It was good to see. Perched above the climbers were several bird and bat boxes. A small indication of the effect of the Biodiversity Action Plan process, which in London I have been heavily involved in over the years.
Many action plans have been written since 2000, which can be found at the London Biodiversity Partnership. Much negativity surrounded the publication of this ‘tomes’, the implication being that they were sit on shelves and collect the proverbial dust. However this small square, it’s green wall and boxes demonstrate that planners and officers in local authorities have ensured that the biodiversity action plan process has instilled real action on the ground.
The last government has to be credited with making this happen. Many government departments and related organisations have to deliver biodiversity as a matter of course. Local authorities have embedded the biodiversity action plan process, not just in London but across the country. Let’s hope that the current administration does not undermine what is now delivering real action on the ground.