The Natural History Museum is set to dedicate its five-acre gardens to urban wildlife research, conservation and awareness. The aim is to reengage people with the natural world and urban biodiversity.
The Natural History Museum’s Urban Nature Project will not only transform its London gardens into a biodiversity hub, but it will create an urban nature movement through a UK-wide learning programme for young people, families and schools. It comes as a response to the urgent need to monitor and record changes to the UK’s urban nature.
According to a statement, the project brings together scientists and experts in the field to develop and deliver online, onsite and national monitoring programmes. When complete, it will include an education centre and a scientific ‘living lab’ where cutting edge research will be shared globally. As well as green space, there will be examples of woodland, grassland, scrub, heath, fen, aquatic, reedbed, hedgerow and urban UK habitat.
Clare Matterson from The Natural History Museum commented: “In urban areas especially, we urgently need to learn more about how to mitigate pressing environmental challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss. By 2030, nine of out ten of us will live in urban areas, meaning nature is quite literally backed into a corner as concrete cities expand.”