‘But there isn’t any wildlife in London.’ I heard that all too familiar phrase again on Saturday – this time from the partner of a friend.
‘Yes there is’ – I launch into my usual explanation – UK hotspots, protected species, London’s wild open spaces – but he isn’t listening to me. He’s pondering why on earth anyone would want to know where all those foxes are anyway.
As he refocuses on what I’m saying he asks: ‘So let me get this straight.You count pigeons?’
‘Yes’ I reply, ‘in a way, that’s exactly what we do’ and I leave it at that.
Welcome to The GIGLer. By the time this first edition hits your inbox, we’ll have been working on establishing a biodiversity records centre for ten years, almost to the month. This anniversary is a significant milestone for GiGL – the culmination of a process that started in May 1996 at a single desk in the corner of the London Wildlife Trust office, and finds us as we are now – an open space and biodiversity records centre in our own right.
In this edition we hope to give you an idea of what we’ve been up to in recent years, pigeon-counting aside, and an insight into the range of partners and customers we’re now working with on a regular basis.We’re delighted to have contributions from steering group members, partners, customers and members of the GiGL team, who have all contributed to bringing GiGL to this point.
Ten years on, GiGL can now call itself an open space and biodiversity records centre – but it doesn’t stop here. Over the coming years, GiGL will continue to develop new products and services, to expand its network of partners and customers, and to make GiGL as valuable to Londoners as it can be. But maybe not for the pigeons.
– Mandy Rudd, GiGL Manager