What can a friends group do?
Many London green and blue spaces have friends groups (groups of volunteers). They can vary in size and in the work they do – this may depend on the site they work in or the interests of the community.
Here are some examples of friends group activities and events
Planting - enhance your green or blue space, improve biodiversity, create pollinator corridors, help mitigate the effects of climate change, increase shade/cooler areas
- Shrub or flower beds
- Wildflower or wild grass meadows
New features – wet spaces or infrastructure for the benefit of wildlife and humans
- Playgrounds (including nature-based play)
- Water retaining areas (helpful to mitigate drought during dry spells)
Maintenance – support the ongoing care of the site
- Painting benches
- Clipping shrubs/pruning hedges
Fundraising – raise money for your projects or for community events
- Cake sales
- Fair – ask local businesses to set up a stall
- Live music
- Arts and crafts – nature based
- Learn about the biodiversity in the site
- Species recording – help protect nature by using an app like iNaturalist to identify plants and animals
- Bat walks
- Exercise classes or organised walks (like ParkBathe or The Walk and Talk Movement)
Whatever activities you decide to get involved in, make sure you have the landowner’s permission (this is usually the council). It’s important to involve them in your plans so they can support your work and update their own plans and records accordingly. If you're holding an event you may need an event permit, and for any event you might want to consider insurance and risk assessments.