Saturday, 7 March 2015
Visioning Day for Beddington Farmlands Visitors Centre/Ecology Park
So what is the solution to vanity projects, poor enforcement of conservation policy, weak government and the resulting loss of biodiversity? I would say it's empowerment of local people and communities to partner with conservation organisations in order to protect and enhance natural assets themselves and to work with (and hold to account where necessary) the authorities and influential businesses that affect their communities.
So with some of that in mind , today we had Rebecca and Matt from WWT Consultancy lead us through a visioning day for the development of a visitor's centre and ecology park for Beddington Farmlands. At this pre-feasibility stage we were looking at fundamental ideas and questions which we hope will lead us to the next stage of feasibility and progressing towards master planning and business modelling.
Members of the visioning day included Hackbridge based environmental consultants Bioregional (who hosted the event at their offices), CEO of the Wandle Valley Regional Park, members of the neighbourhood development group, local residents and members of the Wandle Forum.
In addition to working on visioning we also looked at available funding streams and governance structures and agreed that this was a major green infrastructure initiative which could be self sustaining providing an enormous benefit to local society which we hope in time will be delivered through a symbiotic partnership between local people, local business, government, funding bodies and big business to create nothing short of a flagship nature reserve/resource for sustainable communities (the future).