Hackney nature reserve launches fundraising appeal to reopen

The east reservoir at Woodberry Wetlands. Picture: Peter O'Connor/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The east reservoir at Woodberry Wetlands. Picture: Peter O'Connor/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) - Credit: Archant

A Hackney nature reserve has appealed for help to get back on its feet following the coronavirus pandemic.

Woodberry Wetlands and its cafe have been unable to safely open amid the Covid-19 lockdown and London Wildlife Trust, which runs the site, is expecting to lose £650,000 of its expected income over the next year.

The trust is asking for public donations to help reopen Woodberry Wetlands, which costs around £110,000 a year to run.

Rosie Oldham, London Wildlife Trust’s head of fundraising, said: “Like all charities, we have been hit hard with the coronavirus crisis affecting our fundraising.

“It is thanks to the generosity of our supporters, who care about London’s wildlife as much as we do, that London Wildlife Trust are able to look after special wild spaces like Woodberry Wetlands.”

Money raised will also be match funded up to £55,000 by Berkeley Homes and Hackney Council as part of the Woodberry Down Regeneration Partnership.

This development project will see more than 5,500 new homes, community facilities and public spaces built on the Woodberry Down Estate.

READ MORE: Plans for almost 600 new homes on the Woodberry Down Estate signed offIt comes as Hackney Council and Berkeley Homes applied for an injunction to remove people protesting the felling of an 150-year-old tree as part the site’s development work.

READ MORE: Hackney Council seeks to remove protestors fighting to save 150-year-old Happy Man TreeHackney mayor Philip Glanville said: “I know how much Woodberry Wetlands means to local people - they fought to save these special places 30 years ago and today we all know how important its green lung of water, wildlife and trees is to the community.

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“This unique urban oasis has transformed the area since it opened just four years ago, enriching Hackney’s biodiversity.”

He praised Woodberry Down’s Cllr Jon Burke for his work with Berkeley Homes and London Wildlife Trust.

Woodberry Wetlands was opened by David Attenborough four years ago, after Woodberry Down’s two reservoirs had been largely inaccessible to the public for over 100 years.

Dan Massie, pre-development director at Berkeley Homes, said: “The Woodberry Wetlands is a haven for local people and as members of the Woodberry Down community ourselves, we shared our neighbour’s views that it had to be saved.”

View the appeal at https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/save-woodberry

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