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Have your say and help shape the future of Kingston’s largest nature reserve

By Ben Wilson

22nd Nov 2022 | Local News

The striking gateway that leads to Kingston's largest nature reserve, Tolworth Court Farm Fields (Photo by Stuart Tree)
The striking gateway that leads to Kingston's largest nature reserve, Tolworth Court Farm Fields (Photo by Stuart Tree)

Time is running out for Kingston residents who wish to contribute their views and suggestions to help create a plan to support the future of the borough's largest nature reserve – Tolworth Court Farm Fields.

The Community Brain, a Tolworth-based not-for-profit, is partnering with Citizen Zoo – specialists in rewilding urban areas – Kingston Borough Council and Kingston University, to develop a new community-created vision to enhance biodiversity on the 42-hectare site, which is located between the A240 and the Chessington Industrial Estate.

As part of the project's first phase, the last few months have seen Citizen Zoo and The Community Brain Team hold a series of public information sessions and in September they launched an online survey. The survey is designed to gather feedback about people's experiences of visiting the urban nature reserve and give residents an opportunity to say what they would like to see happen at the site.

Initial studies at Tolworth Court Farm Fields revealed the reserve is already home to more than 360 different species of invertebrate and around 40 species of birds, plus mammals such as bats and roe deer – including some species at risk of extinction.

The project team will use this data, along with insight gathered via the survey, to develop a plan that would pave the way for work to reinvigorate lost habitats by enriching the flora and fauna, countering the effects of the climate emergency and enhancing visitors' experiences.

The survey closes at 12 noon on Friday 2 December. For residents would like to have their say and support the project, the survey can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/TCFFSurvey.

The project team is especially eager to hear from professional dogwalkers and other recreational users of the nature reserve.  

Information boards, like this one at the entrance off the A240, are one way to help more visitors appreciate the importance of protecting the wildlife that lives in the Tolworth Court Farm Fields reserve. (Photo by Stuart Tree)

Robin Hutchinson, The Community Brain's founder said: "Tolworth Court Farm Fields is one of our borough's hidden treasures. It's a remarkable site that is a green oasis that offers vital respite for wildlife and humans. 

"By inviting people across Kingston and neighbouring communities to get involved, share their experiences and ideas for the site's future, we can help ensure that Tolworth Court Farm Fields begins to feel loved and gets the protection and investment it needs to thrive."

To find out more about the project, a replay of a recent virtual info session on The Community Brain's YouTube channel can be accessed here.

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