We are delighted to have developed an exciting proposal for the London Blue Chain project,
which would deliver wide-ranging and valuable habitat improvements and community outcomes across South London.
What is the London Blue Chain project?
This exciting project will benefit amphibians, reptiles and people by complementing the popular London Green Chain walking route with a London Blue Chain! The Blue Chain will improve the existing route for nature and for people by creating and restoring ponds and wildlife corridors to enhance habitats and connectivity for amphibians and reptiles.
The Green Chain consists of 50 miles of walking routes stretching from the Thames in eastern Bexley all the way across to Nunhead Cemetery in Southwark. It crosses through and by fields, parks, allotments, woodlands and other greenspaces of the boroughs of Bexley, Greenwich, Bromley, Lewisham and Southwark. As well as these boroughs, our aim is for the Blue Chain to also flow through into Lambeth!
Where is the London Blue Chain?
The interactive map below shows all of the Green Chain and the boroughs the walking routes intersect. We have also plotted some of the existing blue spaces that can be found in and around the Green Chain. There are more blue spaces that will be added, in addition to new map layers showing the groups that will be involved in the next phase of the project and, of course, where the new ponds and wildlife interventions will be created. If you would like to suggest locations for existing ponds, please get in contact!
(We recommend viewing the larger map by clicking on the button in the top right of the map box.)
The story so far…
The London Blue Chain project has been possible with thanks to The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF). The key milestones so far are:
- November 2021 – Froglife submit London Blue Chain development phase grant application to NLHF.
- March 2022 – NLHF confirm funding for Froglife staff to develop a London Blue Chain delivery phase grant application based on community and stakeholder consultation and engagement.
- May 2022 – August 2023 – Froglife project development staff consult and engage with communities across South London, culminating in the submission of our delivery phase grant application!
London Blue Chain Development
The development phase of this project was an exciting time in which we created lots of varied opportunities for diverse communities across the Blue Chain boroughs to find out about the project and help shape it with their ideas and insights. With all of this input, and through discussions with local authorities and other landowners, we have identified where we aim to deliver valuable habitat improvements, in the form of large ponds and neighbourhood wildlife corridors as well as lots of locations for new garden and pocket ponds!
In addition to transforming the London landscape, the Blue Chain project will also transform lives of South Londoners through a wide range of activities and events which we aim to appeal to the diverse populations and communities in the area, such as:
- Blue Chain Pond Workshops where people will learn how to create their own garden ponds or pocket ponds
- Learning and practical training sessions to develop conservation skills and support local green and blue spaces and wildlife corridors
- Blue Chain Traineeships – one year, full-time London Living Wage opportunities to take a next step in a conservation career
- Becoming a member of the Blue Chain Guardian community, where passionate people will be trained and volunteer their support for the project
- Educational sessions in schools, colleges and youth centres, to inspire the next cohort of young conservationists
- Arts workshops for people to engage with local artists and express their Blue Chain creativity
- Participate in and listen to the Blue Chain Biographies podcast, weaving together wildlife sounds and oral histories inspired by worldwide ponds
- Attend our large scale festivals and events held throughout the year and across all of the Blue Chain boroughs
Sounds of an Underwater World
A particularly special event and activity we hosted during the development phase, at the glorious Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, used hydrophones to stream and record the weird and wonderful sounds happening underwater in our ponds. Lots of people of all ages and backgrounds joined us and were surprised by what they heard and inspired to recall memories of their nature experiences and insights about why these experiences are so important. As well as the underwater sounds, we recorded interviews with participants and have created a sound piece which weaves the two together, and you can now listen to it using the audio player below!
We’re grateful to The Conservation Volunteers for hosting our event at the Ecology Park, the sound artist Tom Fisher (@actionpyramid) for leading the session with his expertise and equipment and, most importantly, all the interested and willing event visitors and participants!
Next steps on the London Blue Chain…
If we are successful with our NLHF delivery phase application we will have the funding for this fantastic three and a half year project!
We are expecting to have a final decision on our application by Christmas 2023. Fingers crossed for a Blue Chain Christmas!
If you’re passionate about London’s amphibians and reptiles and want to support Froglife’s ambition to connect people with nature, you will be just what we need as part of the London Blue Chain volunteer team!
Want to keep up to date on the London Blue Chain? Make sure to subscribe to Croaks, the Froglife monthly e-newsletter, and follow us on social media!
To get involved or for any further information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org