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the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC

Business as usual

Julie Cox, GiGL Partnership Officer and Commissioning Editor of the GiGLer

photos of GiGL lockdown activities

GiGL lockdown activities (clockwise from top-left): learning to crochet, spotting spring blossom, picking cherries, making elderflower cordial, baking, and growing tomatoes

The last few months have been anything but usual. Whilst COVID-19 has brought about previously unforeseen changes to our daily-lives, GiGL is proud that we’ve been able to maintain as much of a standard service to our stakeholders as possible. Despite all working from home, the team spirit is alive and well, with daily ‘tea-break’ video calls keeping us in touch and sharing our lockdown activities – as diverse as astronomy, baking and even greeting the new inhabitants of a wormery.

With travelling further afield not possible, and some beautiful spring and early summer weather, many of us have increased our appreciation of the green spaces on our doorsteps. In this edition’s Joy of Recording article Sarah-Jane Gregori shares her love for Bedfont Lakes Country Park, where she volunteers. We’re also relishing the nature in our gardens, as evidenced by the lovely records we’ve received from people enjoying nature at home. Whilst there will undoubtedly be a dip in survey records this year, Maria shares the wonderful news that volunteers have now completed transcribing data from London’s 1970s bird record cards as part of our Zooniverse project. A great achievement. The joy of observing and interacting with nature, in this case our avian friends, is explored in our review of the book The Meaning of Birds, by Simon Barnes.

Before lockdown we thoroughly enjoyed hosting a Lunch and Learn event for some of our partners. It provided an opportunity for us to meet new partner reps and catch-up with familiar faces, and to spend time talking about how to get the most out of our partnership contracts. With lots of positive feedback received, we hope to repeat the meeting, in some form, again in the future. Our Systems Manager, Andy, is fully settled into his role at GiGL now. He has completed one of this edition’s two staff interviews. Having returned from maternity leave just before lockdown, I’ve self-consciously put myself into the interview seat too.

Training is important, and we’ve been able to continue developing our skills. Mandy attended a course on ‘Measuring Social Impact’ which has sown very useful seeds of thought for devising ways we can report the benefits of our work to our stakeholders and the general public in more accessible ways. Others in the team attended a workshop demonstrating how information is beautiful, which has provided inspiration which will affect many aspects of GiGL’s service delivery.

We always enjoy a laugh and April Fool’s Day each year provides an opportunity for us to share something silly. Did you spot our post mapping London’s dragons? Ben tells us it’s actually a more serious piece of work than you might think.

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