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the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC

General Reflection 2019

Close your eyes. Clear your mind. Pull on a warm Christmas jumper and take a deep breath: think back to the start of the year and reflect on everything you have done; think back to five years ago and reflect on everything you have achieved; think back to the start of the decade and reflect on everything that has happened. Reaching the end of a year and the end of a decade certainly seems an appropriate time to reflect on the successes, failures and learnings that have shaped who we are today…

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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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Knowles Knows: What is a Data Use Licence?

A Data Use Licence sets out the terms and conditions that apply to use of specified data and provides evidence that data recipients agree to these terms. Individuals and organisations who generate and process data often have rights to control whether their data are shared and what they can be used for. Having access to data does not necessarily mean you can use them for any given purpose: you will need to respect the terms of the relevant licence; and when the data can be used, the source should usually be acknowledged…

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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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Greenspace and Mental Wellbeing

We’ve long known that living or working near greenspaces can help us relax or feel happier, but surprisingly, there has been relatively little research into where greenspaces are most effective for mental wellbeing; most studies to date have been restricted to local areas rather than down to the individual level, or have focused on the measurement of mental ill health. But mental wellbeing is more than just an absence of distress. Mental wellbeing reflects a state of positive mental health from which everyone can benefit…

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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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Show & Tell: The new GiGL habitat database

This summer has been an exciting time for GiGL as we have been working on a brand new habitat database. Our legacy habitat datasets (we’ve never had a habitat database) have served us, our partners and our stakeholders incredibly well but the diversity and coverage of having this new database will provide greater opportunities to better monitor, understand and improve the habitat landscape. It has the potential to revolutionise the ways in which we can study the natural environment in London and we are confident this database will better support both The Mayor’s London Environment Strategy and the delivery of Biodiversity Net Gain. Brace yourselves – here’s everything you need to know about this exciting new project.

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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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