The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has committed £1 million to rewilding projects in the capital, as he aims to make London a wilder, greener city. The announcement was made on World Rewilding Day and comes as 22 projects receive funding from the Rewild London Fund, which will focus on restoring and creating priority habitats in and around London’s Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs).
The funded projects include a plan to reintroduce beavers to West London for the first time in 400 years. Citizen Zoo, alongside Ealing Wildlife Group, will transform a site in Ealing into a flourishing wetland ecosystem. Other projects include the Thamesmead Pollinator Corridor, which will create a pollinator corridor through Thamesmead, and the Palewell Beverley Brook Restoration, which will improve the habitat for insects, fish, bats, and birds along 1.25km of the Beverley Brook.
Together, these projects will enable around 116 hectares of habitat to be restored or created in the United Kingdom‘s capital, equivalent to five St James’s Parks. The Mayor’s London Rewilding Taskforce has also identified 11 potential 100 hectare ‘rewilding opportunity zones’ to be explored as London’s first dedicated rewilding area.
The recommendations of the Taskforce emphasize the role that rewilding can play in reframing the relationship between people and urban nature. Allowing nature to recover will bring positive outcomes to Londoners, ranging from health and well-being benefits to providing nature-based solutions to challenges like air pollution and flooding, and addressing the climate and ecological emergencies.
Sadiq Khan said, “Rewilding allows nature to take the lead and is an exciting way to create healthier ecosystems and allow humans and wildlife to live together more harmoniously. I’m proud that London is leading the way once again and excited to see what can be achieved with this further £1m of funding. We’re cleaning up our city, re-establishing lost species and reconnecting people and nature as we build a greener, fairer city for all Londoners.”