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Mathew Frith MCIEEM CEnv

Woodberry Wetlands; integrating biodiversity and inner urban regeneration?

Mathew Frith

The Wetlands aim to provide an example of biodiversity conservation that relates to the needs of diverse urban communities and attempts to make the best of the challenges of regeneration in a growing city.  The presentation will highlight some of the lessons learnt and the opportunities that have arisen since.  Urban regeneration poses challenges and opportunities for conserving biodiversity. Relationships with developers carry risks, but will be essential if we are to have a major influence on the future of our cities. Broad and deep stakeholder engagement is critical for community support. Language, messages and ‘the offer’ have to be relevant to people in cities for nature to be seen to be attractive and worth supporting. Third sector conservation organisations are needing to adapt in order to play a meaningful role in cities. 

Short Biography: Mathew has almost 30 years’ experience of land management policy and practice in urban nature conservation with voluntary organisations, public bodies and Government agencies, such as the London Ecology Unit, English Nature and Peabody (a housing trust).  He has managed nature reserves, and developed policies to advocate the protection, creation and promotion of natural green spaces.

He has a particular interest in the relationship between nature and society in towns and cities, which underpins London Wildlife Trust’s work in the face of a rapidly growing capital. His favourite bird is the magpie.