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the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC

News – Issue 4

The Royal Parks project to continue

For the past year, The Royal Parks has funded a post within the GiGL team, responsible for the development of a biological records database within the agency. As a result of the first year of this project, the agency now has its own Recorder database with some of its higher priority data already imported and shared with GiGL.The Royal Parks has confirmed that it will continue to fund the post for a further year.

The Royal Parks manages eight parks covering 5,000 hectares of London parkland, including Richmond Park SSSI, as well as a number of smaller green spaces including Brompton Cemetery. These are important sites for wildlife and The Royal Parks holds some 120,000 records, from expert surveys and observations from volunteers and Friends’ groups. While loading and sharing of data will continue during this second year, there will also be a greater focus on using the data to help conserve the existing biodiversity within the parks. GiGL will help to develop and implement straightforward reporting tools, which, combined with the expertise of the parks’ Community Ecologist, will ensure that agency employees have ready access to the information and advice that they need when planning or carrying out tasks within the parks.

Dr Nigel Reeve, Community Ecologist for The Royal Parks said ’Working with GiGL over the last year has enabled us to develop a functional biological records management system for The Royal Parks. We are delighted that we shall be continuing our collaboration with the GiGL team, whose input is essential to take the system forward and help us, and all our partners with whom we share data, in the vital task of biodiversity conservation.’

Training and presentations run by GiGL GiGL have now developed a wide range of products and services, useful to a wide range of end users including strategic planners, development control officers and ecologists.

We are keen that partner organisations get maximum benefit from our products. To this end, we have run a series of custom training sessions. Typically, these sessions look at how to effectively query GiGL data in GIS and other software, and how an organisation can ensure that all relevant staff have access to GiGL data. The sessions also facilitate a joined-up approach, bringing together staff from several departments. Most recently, Transport for London and the London boroughs of Redbridge, Bexley and Lewisham have received GiGL training that addresses their specific needs.

Growing partnership

The GiGL partnership continues to grow and now represents many of the major open space and biodiversity data producers and users in the capital. Work on GiGL’s business plan has forecast an eventual partnership of between 50 and 60 organisations. We still have a little way to go. For a full list of our current partners, please see our website.

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