Monday 24 January 2022
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced a £600,000 Rewild London Fund that seeks to restore London’s ‘most precious’ wildlife sites.
The fund will also go towards creating more natural habitats for plants and animals to thrive.
There are 1,600 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) covering 20 per cent of London, including Sydenham Hill Wood and the downlands in Bromley and Croydon.
The fund will be administered with advice from London Wildlife Trust. It will support 20 to 30 SINCs in ensuring that special species thrive. This could include creating new homes for stag beetles to water voles in newly restored waterways.
Khan also set out a further £300,000 of funding for 40 ‘Keeping it Wild’ traineeships for young people aged 16 to 25, to be delivered with London Wildlife Trust. He intends the traineeships to be diverse – supporting young Black, Asian and minority ethnic Londoners, as well as young disabled people and those from areas of economic deprivation.
The mayor said: “The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. In London, we need to take bold action to ensure that we not only halt the decline of biodiversity in our natural environment but pave the way for growth and change. That’s why I’ve announced my new Rewilding Fund, which will help restore the capital’s precious wildlife sites, improve biodiversity and ensure all Londoners have a thriving web of nature on their doorstep. And as part of our Green New Deal, we’re supporting young Londoners to gain the skills required for jobs that help secure a future for London’s natural environment.
“I am proud to have helped London to be recognised as the world’s first National Park City in 2019, and this funding shows my commitment to protecting that status and doing all I can to protect London’s amazing network of green spaces, rivers and natural habitats.”
Leah McNally, director of learning, youth & communities at London Wildlife Trust, commented: “We are absolutely delighted that the mayor of London will be supporting London Wildlife Trust’s hugely successful ‘Keeping it Wild’ traineeship programme for young people aged 16-25. Paid opportunities like these are a fantastic springboard into a career in nature conservation and are vitally important in supporting under-represented young people who face barriers to accessing jobs within the green economy. We are really excited to also be supporting the mayor of London’s ‘Rewilding Fund’ which will have a positive impact on improving Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation in London, for both people and the wonderful wildlife that we share our great city with.”
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