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					24 May 2007

From Lavender to Green in Rotherhithe!

Southwark residents / Londoners are invited to plant themselves on the Community Channel
Bus and join leading environmental charity BTCV to discover the joys and benefits of
conservation volunteering on Saturday, 2nd June, at Lavender Pond, from 10am to 4pm.

Highlights of the day include free training on a range of tasks including reed bed construction,
building a bird hide and creating floating islands to green up the local docks. There will also be
the chance to explore Lavender Pond, the local the nature reserve managed by the Trust for
Urban Ecology (part of BTCV), and spot local wildlife.

Visitors to can go online to learn about the environment, or get practical and make bio-
degradable paper pots filled with seedlings to take home. These paper pots are great for plants
– and one’s pocket – as they minimise root disturbance and prevent the need to buy expensive
pots. The Paper Potter used to make the pots is an ingenious device developed by The Nether
Wallop Trading Company!

To take part in the open day event, please register in advance with Reuben Hawkwood, BTCV
coordinator on 020 7237 9165, or email, or just turn up on the day.

The Community Channel Roadshow is part of BTCV’s Spring into Action campaign, which is
supported by Prudential Plc and Community Channel, and encourages people across the UK to
get involved in looking after their local environment.

Television gardener, Charlie Dimmock, is backing the campaign: “I've seen at first hand the
amazing way in which BTCV volunteers can transform a neglected area into a wonderful site for
people and wildlife. Come along and get involved because you’ll get so much from it - no
experience is needed. You can also make a donation that goes towards tools, training and
advice for volunteers. But do join in – it all makes a difference!"

First-time BTCV volunteers include:

Lizzie Emeh, who is a budding singer / songwriter from London who has never let her learning
difficulties hold her back. She is determined to do her bit for the environment.
Lizzie said: “I feel very passionate about the environment and excited that by doing something
with my friends I can learn new skills and do something about climate change - before it’s too

Karen Kwok is keen to reconnect with nature and use her skills to aid conservation.
Karen said: “I feel strongly about wildlife but feel disconnected from nature. I am ready to get
stuck in, and I love working in a team and making things happen.”

For further information on how you can get involved in saving the environment call 08000 681
800, or for a Cantonese and Mandarin speaker call 0845 122 866, or a Sylheti/Bengali speaker
0800 093 1444, or for an Urdu speaker 0800 093 1118.

Karen Kwok and Lizzie Emeh appear in the film Spring into Action which can be seen online
at: and at regional roadshows taking place around
the country – see website for details.

For Media enquiries, interviews and images please contact:
Kerry Nixon, BTCV T: 01302 388 833 E:
Simon Toseland, Media consultant, T: 07930 323 065 E:
Rachel    Lailey,   Press    Officer,    Community     Channel,     T:   0207      784   7908   E:

Notes to editors:

The Peninsula Wide Wildlife Project
In 2003 Esmee Fairbairn funded a two-year post of Access Co-ordinator/Nature Parks
Development Manager for the Rotherhithe peninsula. Within that time activities and resources
within the area have increased dramatically and become peninsula wide in approach. It has
seen the designation of Lavender Pond as a LNR, the building of a visitors centre at Stave Hill
Ecology Park, installation of a new wind turbine, the regeneration of Russia Dock Woodlands,
and almost a tenfold increase in volunteer involvement.

This project proposes to continue this momentum by the implementation of an ambitious plan to
significantly increase biodiversity in the area and meet targets for local, regional and national
biodiversity action plans.

The project is a strategy to de-fragment the peninsula by creating corridors between the various
wildlife habitats and to create a rich oasis for urban wildlife that will rival the wetland centre in
Barnes. Rotherhithe has an equivalent area of green space and open water and the potential to
match the size and variety of habitats. Unlike Barnes, it is an inner London area and so there will
be an emphasis on urban wildlife and a stronger local community involvement in the
development, management and use of the wildlife network. Its proximity to the river will
significantly enhance the Thames corridor, as a passageway for wildlife, linking sites like Barnes
and Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park. The peninsula used to be marshland before dockland.
This project will bring back a habitat largely lost to docklands and increasingly lost on a national
scale to agriculture.

Wetland Programme: Rotherhithe Reed Beds and Marshland
The most significant plan is to increase reed bed habitat by 250% by 2010 with the creation a
network of reed beds that will transform the area and link the waterways and wetlands

throughout the whole peninsula. The remaining deepwater docks of Canada water Surrey Basin
and Greenland will be softened with floating islands and vegetation. The Albion Canal will form a
long linear reed bed linking the two docks. The other main linking corridor Russia Dock

Woodland will be diversified with new marginal, lily pad and aquatic planting. Rafts in Greenland
dock will be built and maintained with the help of local young people and the dock’s residents
association. A similar approach will be taken with the other waterways.

This plan will be supplemented with more specific works to increase habitat for species
associated with wetland i.e. kingfishers and sand martins (artificial nesting banks and barrels),
bats (artificial roosting), common tern (rafts), red eyed damselflies (lily bed) and herons. All
these species breed on or use the peninsula but there is great potential to increase their range
and population.

About BTCV
Inspiring People, Improving Places. BTCV is the UK’s leading practical conservation charity.
BTCV connects people with place, builds healthy, sustainable communities, and increases
people’s life skills. It aims to create a better environment where people from all cultures feel
valued, included and involved. BTCV supports 140,000 volunteers a year taking hands-on action
to improve their urban and rural environments, and a Community Network supports local groups.
BTCV offers regular conservation tasks, UK and International Conservation Holidays, the BTCV
Green Gym®, training opportunities and an on-line Shop making products and services
accessible to all.

Tel: 01302 388 883 Email:
For more information on the Trust for Urban Ecology see

About Community Channel
Community Channel is TV that gives a damn. It makes you think again about the world around you, and
inspires you to take action on the causes and issues that matter to you. Broadcasting original shows, the
best of terrestrial TV and showcasing the work of new directors and community programme makers;
Community Channel is the place for real-life stories. The channel is broadcast 24 hours a day, every day
on   Sky   539,      Virgin   TV   233,   from   6-9am   on   Freeview    87   and   VOD     Broadband:

                                                                                                       4 The channel is freely available to around 45 million people in 18.2
million homes across the country and around 1.2 million people watch every month (BARB). Community
Channel is a Media Trust initiative.

About Prudential
Prudential plc, a company incorporated and with its principal place of business in the United Kingdom,
and its affiliated companies constitute one of the world's leading financial services groups. It provides
insurance and financial services directly and through its subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the world. It
has been in existence for over 150 years and has £250.7 billion in assets under management as at 31
December 2006. Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc, a company
whose principal place of business is in the United States of America.

PRUPIM is one of the leading real estate investment managers in the United Kingdom, managing over
£19 billion of assets in a broad spread of properties both in the UK and overseas (as at 31.12.06). It forms
part of M&G, the investment arm of Prudential plc in the UK and Europe. PRUPIM’s community
investment strategy is aligned to Prudential plc’s approach to corporate responsibility and its commitment
to supporting the local communities where it operates. PRUPIM’s community programme also recognises
the significance of its role as a landlord in many towns and cities throughout the UK and its community
activities focus on: community safety, economic regeneration and social inclusion, environment and
employee volunteering.

Prudential plc is backing BTCV over the next two years, through its real estate investment management
arm, PRUPIM.
Paul Cornes, Corporate Responsibility Director, PRUPIM, said: Spring into Action will build on our five
year partnership with BTCV. The charity has an outstanding record in involving local people in looking
after their environment, delivering real and sustainable environmental change."


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