The Business of Conservation

Monday, September 20th, 2021

Chamber President Katerina Damcova has chosen to support Citizen Zoo for her 2020/21 tenure. Citizen Zoo is a local social enterprise committed to rewilding & conservation.

Covid meant that we have been unable to support with group activities for some time however on 17th September 2021 we were able to run our first conservation volunteering session.

The location for this was a small area of woodland in New Malden just off Coombe Lane West.  The area did not have an official name but because of its shape and location, we are now calling it Coombe Lane West Triangle Woods.

The area was spotted by chamber member and local resident Andrew Sherville who spoke with founder of Citizen Zoo and RBK Biodiversity Officer Elliot Newton and ward councillor Rowena Bass about the possibility of doing some conservation work.  Katerina and Kingston Chamber were keen to support a local initiative and help gather volunteers. Cllr Bass was able to support the costs of the day with Coombe Hill councillors’ ward funding.

Chamber volunteers came out to support the day which involved mainly woodland management and rubbish clearance.  It was amazing how much rubbish was picked from a relatively small woodland area, it included quite a few bits of a car which had obviously crashed into it at some point, an old safe and even a bag full of costume jewellery!    There was also a huge amount of plastic chicken trays that had obviously been brought into the area by local foxes.

The team also felled some of the non-native sycamore trees to allow more light into the area and cleared a path through the site so people can actually walk through it and appreciate the woodland.

All of this was achieved in just 4 hours work. It just shows what can be done to improve local green spaces with a few willing volunteers!

The next stage is to lay some wood chip along the path to help maintain it.

Hopefully the Chamber and Citizen Zoo can work together to identify and conserve other areas around the borough in a similar way; improving our local areas, getting people out into the great outdoors and engaging our local communities to take action. If you or your business would like to get involved with future projects, do let us know.

You can see all the photos from the day in our Gallery.

If you want to know more about Citizen Zoo, visit their website

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