Kew Haha, site of a planned Green Hub

Kew ha-ha to be transformed into Green Hub

Plans are underway to turn the Kew ha-ha into a Green Hub for biodiversity.

The charity Habitats & Heritage are seeking to develop the ha-ha, a type of sunken fence near the Old Deer Park Sports Ground, into a green space and pathway for pollinators.

The ha-ha is currently rundown and prone to fly-tipping.

Nature conservation manager for Habitats & Heritage, Francesca Batt said: “The whole idea of the project is to create improvements to biodiversity in currently under-utilised spaces.

“One of the big threats to biodiversity in the area is the fragmentation of habitats and the programme seeks to counteract this.

“As we push the project forward and get more and more of these hubs set up and joined it will hopefully create the beelines, the pollinator pathways and the biodiversity connectivity that we’re really striving for in conservation.”

Kingston Green Hub
BIODIVERSITY: One of the three Green Hubs already set up in Kingston. Credit: Habitats & Heritage

Habitats & Heritage have received funding for 10 Green Hubs across North Richmond from the Richmond Community Fund.

Six Green Hubs are also under way in Kingston, as well as several smaller ones in Merton.

The Green Hubs vary dependent on local surroundings.

The Kew ha-ha project aims to attract pollinators and birds whilst the hub set up in Barnfield Garden has bug hotels, a hedgehog hedge and a mini-pond.

However, they are all constructed with aim of developing a fully connected green network.

The community was consulted on the plans last Tuesday, with a consensus of excitement and support for the project.

A couple of residents who lived nearby said they had been pushing for something to happen here for years and were very excited by the plans.

Many also signed up as volunteers.

Batt puts this excitement down to renewed community interest in local conservation, especially during the pandemic.

She said: “We’ve definitely seen a huge increase in interest and support for both this project and our other projects.

“I think everyone’s obviously noticing their local area a bit more, they’ve spent so much time walking around their local area and they’ve spotted these patches that could be improved.”

She also noted that the collaborative, community focus of the project and support from councillors in North Richmond have alleviated fears that the project will fade in impact over time.

There has been discussion about access to the ha-ha but this is unlikely due to the charity’s focus is on biodiversity, with the Green Hub primarily a refuge for wildlife.

A full community consultation is planned for October with the hope of getting as many local residents involved as possible, having their say and potentially signing up as further volunteers.

Feature Image Credit: Habitats & Heritage

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