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Notes from the 14th Kingston Biodiversity Network Meeting, 14th December 2016

We had a fantastic evening at Kingston University with two excellent talks and updates from the floor.

Our first speaker was Helen Spring the Lost Effra Project Coordinator, London Wildlife Trust. Who told us all about The Lost Effra Project; working with nature to make London resilient to climate change.

The talk gave an overview of what we can do in London to work with nature to make areas more resilient to climate change through encouraging grassroots action. Helen gave an introduction to the Lost Effra Project and show how they work with communities to create green roofs, rain gardens and depave to create wildlife gardens. The depaved areas looked particularly impressive turning entire tarmacked spaces into productive food gardens and havens for wildlife. The talk encouraged everyone in Kingston to consider what we can be doing in the borough to hold the water in place in rain gardens and green roofs rather than sending it straight into the drain. Not only were the projects Helen showed us good at holding water and reducing flooding, they were also very attractive. It therefore provides a double benefit that improves the environment all round.

Helen Spring talking about The Lost Effra

The second speaker was Marina Pacheco from the Kingston Biodiversity Network who explained why people in Kingston should care about beavers. Flood prevention is becoming more of an issue with global warming where it is expected that our weather will become warmer and wetter thereby increasing our chance of being flooded. This has meant that flood prevention needs to be reconsidered and a catchment area approach needs to be taken. This means that Kingston, which has a high risk of flooding, needs to think about what can be done upstream of the Thames to prevent flooding. Beavers are supreme engineers who are amazingly effective at making the land they occupy hold more water by digging dozens of canals and ponds. They are cost effective and efficient engineers and should be considered as one possible tool in our flood defense kit.

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