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the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC

Wildife, Wildlife, Everywhere

When explaining GiGL’s remit to Joe Public, a common tease is; “Do you just count pigeons and foxes? There’s not much more wildlife than that in London is there?” Oh how wrong these jokers are about their city’s astonishing array of wildlife.

From the rare to the wonderfully common place, the designated sites to your local park, London has a wealth of biodiversity ready to be explored and recorded.

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Interview, Saskie Laing

GiGL’s Board of Directors are central to our work and our success. Their commitment and expertise helps guide GiGL and keeps us moving forward and developing. Directors are on the front line of biodiversity and open space work in the capital. They are GiGL service users and contribute to our data banks, as well as serving as ambassadors for GiGL.

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Sheer Brilliance

There is a lot of cross-pollination amongst staff in the environmental records centre community. Outside of their paid jobs, many of the UK’s 100+ records centre staff are involved with local and national recording schemes. Some of them are county recorders. Some help run related businesses, including those who sit on the board of the Association of …

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London Geology Guide

It’s not always possible, especially in an urban environment, to see the geology beneath our feet. Only in temporary excavations and in the greener parts of Greater London can geological sites be clearly seen. Unfortunately, many of these are disappearing fast under bricks and mortar. The London Geodiversity Partnership aims to protect the best …

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Masses of moths

GiGL currently holds nearly 2.8 million species records. Whilst I can’t claim to have input all of those records myself, I can lay claim to just over 1.5 million.

In recent years, the greatest number of records has come to GiGL as large datasets from established recording schemes such as the London Natural History Society.

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River Citizen Scientists

I’m pleased to write that my article on ZSL’s European eel monitoring project for the GiGLer in December 2012 successfully attracted new partners and volunteers to the project. I’m hopeful this article might do the same for another citizen science project ZSL are initiating. But first, let me bring you up to date with the latest news from our eel monitoring in the Thames region.

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Seething Wells

A planning application to develop the largest area of standing water in Kingston upon Thames was defeated last year. The application proposed to construct sixty-four floating homes on the Seething Wells former filter beds, with the addition of a restaurant, a marina and a lock which would open an area of standing water to the River Thames. Permission was refused on the grounds that residential development on …

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Species alert: Water Primrose

With this year’s growing season starting earlier than normal, we all need to be aware of the possible invasive non-native species that might be popping up in our reserves, parks and open spaces. Over the past couple of years, our attention has turned to a relatively new arrival in Great Britain and in London. Meet water primrose (Ludwigia grandiflora) an aquatic invasive non-native species originally from South America.

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Snapping Wildlife

Photography is not only a profession and an art form, it is also a popular amateur pastime. The accessibility of photography as a hobby has been greatly increased by the rise of digital technology. The number of magazines, websites and courses available on the subject confirm its popularity. The rapid capture and instant sharing of everyday photographs has been facilitated by mobile phone cameras and social media platforms such as Flikr, Instagram and Twitter.

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What’s in a name?

London’s open spaces weave through housing estates; grand London plane trees overhang busy roads; and gulls settle in wet patches of local football fields. iGiGL is a great tool for a little armchair sightseeing of the 47% of Greater London that is green.Clicking on the intriguing shapes that outline London’s parks and open spaces will bring back a wealth of information on site uses and facilities, a description of the wildlife or habitats, and snippets of local interest or history.

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