the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC

GiGL Life

Interview, Andy Foy

I worked at Morden Hall Park as a volunteer warden many years ago and was struck by the incredible variety of habitats and species packed into such a small site. The park is a former deer park located on the banks of the River Wandle in Morden, south London. It is surrounded by roads, housing estates and rail lines, yet contained within its 50 hectares (125 acres) are a variety of natural landscapes including historic parkland, formal gardens, avenues of mature trees, meadows and wetlands…

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It takes a team to create a report

GiGL’s flagship report, the ecological desktop study, presents a snapshot of the GiGL Partnership’s knowledge of a site or an area. The report is the culmination of a lot of time and effort to collate information about the whole of London; so we wanted to lift the lid on the process of what goes into creating this report…

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London Recorders’ Day 2019

On 2nd November, natural historians, conservationists, educators and data managers of London came together once more; we left the grey skies and wet streets of west London and entered that towering cathedral to nature, the Natural History Museum, for the second annual London Recorders’ Day. GiGL, the Field Studies Council (FSC) Biolinks Project and the Natural History Museum Angela Marmot Centre for UK Biodiversity co-organised and hosted this event following the success of last year. The varied talks and displays discussed the joy of studying nature, skills and careers, diversity and inclusiveness, and the use of biological records in practice…

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Book Review: “The London Garden Book A-Z” by Abigail Willis

This book is, more or less, what it says on the cover, an A to Z of London’s Gardens, but with various quirks. As well as listing the gardens that you would expect to find – the sort that would appear as individual sites in our open space database – this book has entries for gardens and types of gardening that are more abstract or dispersed, such as “Guerrilla Gardener”, “Front Gardens” and “Topiary”…

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Interview, Eleni Foui

Eleni is GiGL’s Planning Research Officer. She leads on a project designed to understand and support the planning process regarding the use of biodiversity data in Greater London. Eleni will be spending the next 12 months identifying current practices across the capital, defining best practice and developing new resources for Local Planning Authorities…

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Joy of Recording: How the skylarks on Warren Farm taught me how to sing

“…Like a rocket, the bird shot straight up into the air from the ground. Momentarily hovering before jauntily flying in a large oval shape. Singing like it had accordions for lungs, a warble so beautiful and so loud and then, just before it plummeted to the ground like it had forgotten how to fly, it let out a repeated single note that sounded like the kind of noises my brother and I used to make when firing water pistols at each other. Pew Pew Pew! “It’s a skylark.” I said, tying up the poo bag, my rescue dog grinning up at me. And on we walked…

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Interview, Benjamin Town

Ben is GiGL’s Community Officer. He delivers work for community partners and clients. This includes work for members of the public and community groups, as well as carrying out work with students that wish to use GiGL data for research projects…

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Interview, Laura Kuurne

Laura is GiGL’s Database Officer. She delivers work to review, develop and maintain GiGL’s datasets of the capital’s Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) and their citations, open spaces, and habitats…

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Joy of Recording

…I returned to the UK in 2011, moving into a house boat on a wharf at the junction of the rivers Brent and Thames. One day, while working on a small patch of garden on the wharf’s bank, I noticed a tiny little snail that I hadn’t previously encountered; after making enquiries around the neighbourhood, my landlord told me it was a Thames two-lipped snail (Balea biplicata)…

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