27 February 2018
The Wild Network is a non-for-profit organization which has been at the forefront of re-connecting children to nature since 2013. Taking inspiration from their film Project Wild Thing to run projects in communities up and down the country.
In Kingston we have the amazing Maria Sprostranova who has been a Council Member and Advisor for The Wild Network since its launch, and has been busy re-connecting our local schools to nature and the environment via the introduction of Forest School and Outdoor Learning. Maria has been successfully doing this on school grounds as well as by bringing children into our local wild green spaces. Children learn new life-long skills, have fun and most importantly form a relationship with their environment which they in turn cherish and protect. We in Kingston Green Party would like to see schemes like this rolled out across the borough. It is one of the things we are campaigning for in the local elections.
We also have wonderful places like the Kingston Envrionment Centre where you can find links to Hogsmill Community Garden and the Kingston Biodiversity Network.
Outside of the Royal Parks there is surprisingly little wild open space in the borough. What there is we must seek to protect from the ever present pressures of development. The Raeburn Open Space, Long Meadow and the Hogsmill Open Space are linear, the largest contiguous open space is to the south of Jubilee Way in Chessington, which is Tolworth Court Farm. These are the places we could use to bring our children closer to nature once again.
If elected we would look to implement a borough-wide scheme, based around the local schools, and using groups and leaders such as those mentioned here, to get the children out to these locations on a regular basis. They could even become involved in maintaining and improving them, and their frequent use will ensure their protection from development. The pressure is always there. The new LIDL HQ is being built on top of what was open space used as a motorcycle track. Now that the motorcyclists have lost their place they might be forced to use Tolworth Court Farm again as they used to - preventing it from being the quiet, natural space we need. All open space should be protected to prevent this knock on impact.