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idverde is supporting the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s ambitious project to provide more homes for nature in the exclusive W8 post code, with help from the ACAVA Maxilla Men in Sheds project.More projects for The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
idverde was buzzing to hear from our clients at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea about the Bee Superhighway Project which aims link up areas of greenspace in Parks, Housing and Amenity greenspace across Kensington to benefit pollinators.
The Bee Superhighway is a project that will improve and increase habitat that supports pollinators across Kensington and Chelsea. It will create ‘stepping-stones’ and linkages between existing habitats through the creation of new Wildflower areas, improved pollinator friendly planting and installing other beneficial features such as bug hotels and ponds. The pollinator hotspots will form a Borough wide pollination network and join existing habitats and green spaces, forming a ‘Bee Superhighway’.
As part of the project the Royal Borough aims to raise the profile of pollinators and their importance to people, and provide education and engagement opportunities to enable residents, community groups, schools and business to create their own pollinator hotspot, big or small, contributing to the Borough’s pollinator Network.
idverde colleagues have been working closely with Kensington and Chelsea’s Parks and Ecology Team to create more pollinator friendly habitats across the Borough’s parks, housing and amenity green space.
idverde’s Greenspace Development Team were tasked with developing an engaging community bug hotel building campaign that can be placed in proximity to the pollinator-rich meadows to provide nature with more homes.
Having worked with ACAVA Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art during the pandemic to support some improvements to the Maxilla Nursery Garden with Hands on London, idverde’s Head of Greenspace Development, Andrew Kauffman, made contact with Rasha El-Sady, Programme Manager for the Maxilla Men in Sheds to see if the local “Shedders” could support us with the project.
idverde London Volunteer Manager and Carpenter, David Everett, worked with Leanne Brisland, the Borough’s Ecology Manager, to design the ‘des-res’ and, thanks to support from suppliers at Travis Perkins, we were able to prepare flat pack kits
ACAVA then recruited their Shedders from across Kensington and provided access to the marvellous Maxilla Shed external bench space to allow all parties to work socially distanced to support the construction of the first 15 bug hotels, set to rival the most exclusive hotels in Kensington!
One of the Men in Shed members who took part in building the bug hotels, said: “I’ve really enjoyed being part of this build. I can’t wait to visit the open spaces where the bug hotels will be installed. I’m now feeling inspired to build a bug hotel for my garden at home.”
Jon Meech, CEO at Hands on London, also commented: “Kick-off day for the bee superhighway! It was fantastic to join the Men in Sheds project supported by idverde in the creation of the very first bug hotels. We are proud to be part of the Bee Superhighway, which is such an important and exciting project and an excellent example of the public, private and voluntary sectors working together.”
Rasha El-Sady added: “It has been a wonderful two days for the ‘Shedders’ building bug hotels in collaboration with idverde. ACAVA Maxilla Men’s Shed is a workshop and make space where socialising and making comes hand-in-hand. The Shedders have learnt so much from idverde’s David and Jack and are feeling inspired and proud to build with purpose and with great outcomes.”
The idverde colleague involved have also found the project a great experience.
David Everett, idverde’s London Volunteer Manager, said: “Wow, what a fabulous partnership project! It has been a real pleasure to share our skills and knowledge with such a great group of ‘shedders’. These kinds of projects give you a real buzz, and seeing the enthusiasm and care which the group took in each of the hotels was great to see.
Jack Connelly, idverde Ecology Apprentice, also commented: “Men in Sheds is a model example of inclusion for older members of our community who are often forgotten or side-lined. I enjoyed my time working and talking with the ‘shedders’, who were all happy and willing to share their valuable wisdom and skills.”
Andrew Kauffman, Head of Greenspace Development at idverde, added: “idverde are so pleased to have been able to support such a fantastic community project as we commence our new contract with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea with a strong emphasis on community partnership. Thanks to Rasha and all the ‘shedders’ for your passion on this project, and we look forward to working with charity partners at Hands on London for the bug hotel fit out with drilled logs, bark, pine cones, and bamboo.”