£25,000 grant received for Nature Reserves in Merton

Merton’s nature reserves have received a cash injection of £25,000 thanks to English Nature’s Wildspace! Scheme. The funding will pay for recent enhancements already made to local nature reserves across the borough.

The grant has also encouraged local community groups and schools to work together in maintaining these green areas.

Improvements in nature reserves across the borough include:

· Repairing a breach in the pond in the nature reserve in Myrna Close, Colliers Wood,
· Restoring an ancient pond on Cranmer Green
· The pond at Morden Park has been enhanced by the removal of a large volume of silt and allowing more light in by thinning some of the surrounding trees.
· Contributing towards the funding of an extensive boardwalk at Fishpond Wood, so that bluebells are no longer trampled and walkers keep their feet dry.
· Educational panels have been installed at various sites, providing details of wildlife interest, for the benefit of school children and local users.

As a result of the grant from English Nature, ‘Friends’ groups have become involved in fundraising activities to continue the improvements. The Friends Group at Myrna Close Local Nature Reserve has set up a maintenance programme to ensure the area remains a pleasant and clean environment (see attached photo). Local schools and other volunteers rallied together at Morden Park for several tree-planting days last year, and ‘work-days’ have been organised by residents to preserve the environment of other nature reserves.

Shirine Voller, Grants Officer for English Nature’s Wildspace! Scheme, says:

“We are really pleased to be able to give this grant to Merton. It is so important to protect wildlife habitats, and the work that has been carried out will provide enormous benefits for the community.

“There is also great potential to engage new community groups, and establish educational programmes with local schools. I hope that Merton’s residents will continue to appreciate and care for these nature reserves.”