Julie Cox, GiGL Data Officer
This year, Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC celebrates both a 10th and a 20th anniversary. London’s Biological Recording Project, which formed the roots of the current day GiGL, was initiated in May 1996 when Bridge House Estates (via the City Bridge Trust) provided three years’ worth of grant funding to build a partnership and run pilot projects. Since then, GiGL has vastly expanded: technologically; in the services we provide; and in the network of organisations and individuals with whom we work. 2016 also marks the ten-year anniversary of the formal launch of GiGL as a fully-fledged environmental records centre. It’s therefore fitting that this summer GiGL became a fully accredited LERC; a status of which we’re very proud.
Our birthday reflections have not focused solely on our success in creating the most comprehensive database of biological and other records for London. Nor on the innovative services we have provided to our partners over the past twenty years. Instead, it’s our strong family of recorders and partner organisations, grown over the last two decades of which we’re most proud. You’ll see this common theme throughout this edition of the GiGLer. GiGL is a partnership, and everyone who interacts with us, from data providers to data users, partner contacts to our wonderful advisors, is vitally important in enabling us to provide pertinent record centre services. It was great to see lots of these friendly faces over celebratory drinks in May.
This issue, our director’s interview is with Suzie Jackman, who has worked alongside GiGL for a number of years in her role as Environmental and Sustainability Manager with Transport for London. This edition, we begin a new regular feature, highlighting small project work we’ve undertaken for partners. We hope this will demonstrate the wide range of services GiGL deliver and provides inspiration for other SLA holders. We start with two very different mapping projects, for Islington and for Camden. We also feature an update on progress with the Churchyards for London project. One advantage of being a member of the GiGL partnership is access to our extensive network of colleagues across the environmental sector, both in London and further afield. Maria gives us a recent example of this. Our databases are the bedrock of everything we do. It’s important that our data users can trust what we give them. An imperative process in ensuring this is data verification. Lyndsey outlines the leaps forward we’ve made in verifying London’s Odonata records, thanks to an excellent expert volunteer.
To coincide with these important milestones in our development, we have been working on a suite of plans which will steer our evolution over the next five years. Mandy celebrates GiGL’s last twenty years with a summary of the most important landmarks in our history and provides an overview of our first strategic plan. Feeding into the strategic plan is our new communications strategy. We’ve consulted widely on this and the GiGL team and our communications consultant, Miranda Waugh, would like to thank everyone who has contributed.